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2014 April PAD Challenge: Day 23

Categories: Poetry Challenge 2014, Poetry Prompts, Robert Lee Brewer's Poetic Asides Blog, What's New.

I’ve been having a wonderful April, and I hope you have too. Counting this morning’s poem, I think I’ve already written more than 30 poems this month (not all of my writing ends up on this blog), and I’m pretty happy with a few of the poems I’ve written for this challenge.

Yes, this has been another great National Poetry Month, and here’s a great kit to celebrate: The Writer’s Digest National Poetry Month Kit, which includes a digital version of The Poetry Dictionary, a couple paperbacks (Creating Poetry and Writing the Life Poetic), a tutorial on building an audience for your poetry, the 2014 Poet’s Market, and more! Click to continue.

For today’s prompt, write a location poem. Location could be physical–like the laundromat, a public park, a glacier, flying saucer, etc. Or location could be emotional, psychological, metaphysical, or some other kind of word that ends in -al. Or surprise everyone!

*****

Daniel Nester

Daniel Nester

Free up your poetry with constraints!

Learn how putting constraints on your poetry through poetic forms, blank verse, and other tricks can actually free up your poetry writing skills and enhance your creativity in Writer’s Digest’s first ever Poetry Boot Camp.

This boot camp will be led by April PAD (Poem-A-Day) Challenge guest judge Daniel Nester, author of How to Be Inappropriate and editor of The Incredible Sestina Anthology, and it will include a one-hour tutorial, personalized Q&A on a secure “attendees-only” message board, feedback on three original poems, and more.

Click to continue.

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Here’s my attempt at a Location Poem:

“locate”

i am over here
and you’re over there

if you move here
i’ll move there

i used to be there
where you are

but i moved
when you arrived

nothing personal
not trying to be a jerk

i mean i am
but don’t take it that way

that would be so like you
taking things like that

and here you come
so there i go

*****

Today’s guest judge is…

Erika Meitner

Erika Meitner

Erika Meitner

Erika’s first book, Inventory at the All-Night Drugstore, won the 2002 Robert Dana-Anhinga Prize for Poetry, and was published in 2003 by Anhinga Press. Her second book, Ideal Cities, was selected by Paul Guest as a winner of the 2009 National Poetry Series competition, and was published in 2010 by HarperCollins. Her third collection, Makeshift Instructions for Vigilant Girls, was published by Anhinga Press in 2011. Her newest collection of poems, Copia, is due out from BOA Editions in 2014.

In addition to teaching creative writing at UVA, UW-Madison, and UC-Santa Cruz, Erika has worked as a dating columnist, an office temp, a Hebrew school instructor, a computer programmer, a lifeguard, a documentary film production assistant, and a middle school teacher in the New York City public school system.

Meitner is currently an Associate Professor of English at Virginia Tech, where she teaches in the MFA program, and is also the associate faculty principal of Hawthorn House (one of the residential colleges at Virginia Tech).

Learn more here: http://erikameitner.com/.

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PYHO_Small_200x200Poem Your Heart Out

Poems, Prompts & Room to Add Your Own for the 2014 April PAD Challenge!

Words Dance Publishing is offering 20% off pre-orders for the Poem Your Heart Out anthology until May 1st! If you’d like to learn a bit more about our vision for the book, when it will be published, among other details.

Click to continue.

*****

Robert Lee Brewer is Senior Content Editor of the Writer’s Digest Writing Community and author of Solving the World’s Problems. The book includes poems in a Kroger parking lot, at an arboretum, and other locales. Learn more about Robert here: http://www.robertleebrewer.com/.

*****

Locate a few other poetic posts here:

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About Robert Lee Brewer

Senior Content Editor, Writer's Digest Community.

823 Responses to 2014 April PAD Challenge: Day 23

  1. ianchandler says:

    sitting/standing

    your patch of skin
    must itch
    as you sip your drink
    in a chair
    in a building
    in Ohio
    among the barley fields
    and
    now you’re gone
    surprised by a stranger
    who leads you
    over there.

  2. barbara_y says:

    The Listings

    These keys, un-fashionable islands where I laze,
    intersect three axes.
    Long number strings–self-indulgent as hammocks
    and mango mimosas–
    fail the test of clear brevity. (I wallow in details like
    “tangerine” and “nubby.”)
    Out, beyond the surf and safe from seduction,
    Puritans flap storm flags.
    A toast to their concision. A postcard from this island
    outweighs their fleet.
    Find me butt-sunk and drifting downstream, slow.
    Clouds here are hung on monofilament, and swing.

  3. Andrea Z says:

    Route 104

    The car shakes violently
    and lets out a painful, whining growl
    as I turn onto Route 104.
    I’m forced to pull over,
    and I jump out to assess the damage.
    I find that my tire is missing.
    An obstruction in the wheel well
    Has blown my tire to smithereens!
    I am silently shocked
    the car is in one piece.
    I am stranded on Route 104, at 1 a.m.
    and realize I have no one to call.
    Thankfully, chivalry is not dead.
    A passing police officer stops,
    and offers to bring me home.
    I leave with him,
    but my car is left stranded
    on Route 104
    with only three tires remaining.

  4. seingraham says:

    WHEN BEING HERE IS NOWHERE I WANT TO BE BUT
    NOWHERE ELSE WILL DO

    When I think you are gone for good and all
    and I am fine again, centred and well
    Tears creep into words unbidden and before
    I know why, I am wobbly with uncertainty

    In the third last line of that poem about the
    other little one who died such an awful way
    Not so awful as your demise, of course, but
    pretty horrid all the same…
    when I was reading it aloud for the first time,
    I choked, I mean it
    I fell to pieces when I got to the part telling
    him to go – to leave this place and soar…

    This doesn’t happen to me…I mean melt-downs
    over my own writing…and I found myself
    wondering if the two of you – that little guy
    and you –
    If you were together in the ether near me
    Haunting me so vividly, I could sense
    your presence
    And I couldn’t insist that either of you
    should go away

    Then, I learned that your father had his day
    in court, the day after I read
    And I knew you were here…I felt your presence
    everywhere
    Knew if I just stood still enough, you would float
    to where I was and alight upon me
    But not knowing if I had the sanity for this
    I kept moving…
    Then, just before bed, I forgot – slowed right
    down and stopped
    You were on me like a vampire or something
    Oh – that sounds so melodramatic and wrong

    But, it felt as if you had waited for just the right
    moment and place
    And now you had me and were settled around
    me like a too tight shirt
    Laying your tiny head against my chest…
    I felt crazed with your sadness and with my own
    Will this never end, this mourning for you…

  5. IndiFox says:

    Questions For Emily

    Where do you run?
    When you run away from me?
    Is it to the lake?
    Or the old oak tree?
    Do you remember swinging from that tyre?
    And later how it broke?
    Or how we found your mother?
    Hanging from the same rope?

  6. cmjones says:

    Tip

    Living with a disease called the east coast
    The sky assumed the exact same shade of meteorological hope,
    Blue, as it had the morning of
    The occurrence of the tornado,
    Which had begun with a
    Party celebrating the birthday of someone long
    Dead who would have been 54. He died at 23.
    Sometimes the cut itself is the punch line, sometimes
    The punch line is performing retrieved acts of civility, is
    Alerting authorities to a faucet that never stops
    Running in a rest stop off I-95, south of D.C. but
    North of Richmond.

    Chad Jones

  7. WHERE’S MY GPS?

    What is the location
    of success?
    What should one do?
    To possess,
    a slippery fish?
    Drop a coin?
    Hint a wish?
    Can you map
    it’s coordinates?
    Text me
    the address?

  8. KiManou says:

    Near Light

    Nighttime
    and the Natural Neon lights expose
    every Nuance
    Navigate
    between the Nile and Nairobi
    there you will find me
    sipping Nectar
    observing the Nebula
    creating our Nexus
    waiting Nestled
    where U-n-I-verse Naked
    Near light

    eMinor

  9. Whale, not a fish, out of water.

    A beached whale decomposes and bloats
    as the methane fills its body
    and if there is no route for the pressure
    to be released – it explodes
    very messily
    emitting a pungent smell
    that taints a large area long after
    the physical evidence has been removed.

    There are many YouTubes of this phenomenon
    I have watched most of them.
    People find them amusing.
    I find them to be too close for comfort.

    It has been many years since I felt the freedom
    of seawater buoying me effortlessly.
    I miss the light-play glinting on shoals of fish
    and the rhythmic sway of weed,
    the texture moods of stone, sand, shell, pebble
    and the corner-of-the-eye dart of octopus and squid.

    I dream these days of being free from the pull of gravity
    and lack of air seems a trifling bargain willingly given
    for such glorious power and control.

    I tried to call it grounded
    to fool myself this was a good place to be
    and as my carcass swelled I faked serenity,
    smiling as I smoothed my hair with a mother-of-pearl brush
    ignoring the stabs of pain inflicted by my weight pressing on the rocks.

    Loggerhead turtles lumber, heads above the water in my memories,
    a knowing look in their eyes.
    I can’t maintain pretence when I contemplate my loss of place
    in the sheltering sea
    and grounded is a silly substitute for

    beached

    as I am
    and how much of me has died and rots
    and is this weeping enough to save this place
    from the taint of my explosion?

    Michele Brenton April 2014

  10. Location Unknown – Amirae Garcia

    Don’t you remember how you used to be there for every birthday party, every soccer game, and every insignificant school play? Remember the look on my face as you went through the doors, looking like a war hero returning home to his lifetime lover?

    You do remember that I am your lover, right? You used to be everywhere, all over me. You used to linger on my hips and live on my mouth, sighing hallelujahs on my tongue in the only language we knew; and now I can’t get you to hum with me.

    You have gone so far away to a location unknown and I am here, I am here, I am here. Come back to me, come back to me, come back to me.

  11. foodpoet says:

    They say everything is location
    My cat is
    Sooo
    Confused.
    I did not dress today.
    She purred and got ready to cuddle.
    I log into the computer and fuss
    And enter credentials and download
    WORK.
    My Cat is
    Sooo
    Confused.
    I
    Am
    Home
    And ignoring her.
    I test telecommuting
    Work from home for the first time
    Muddle through me and my
    Soo
    Confused
    Cat.
    Location is
    Everything…

    Megan McDonald

  12. Aberdeen Lane says:

    Chicago

    your history, still
    ebullient among the concrete
    your jazz pulls
    at forgotten strings
    stretching across looms
    reconfiguring
    the triangulation of
    tapestries
    while lollygagging on
    the subway

    you take me in
    hiss honk sniff
    episodes
    melding into dreams
    the mares of night
    bucking through
    alleyways
    calling for alertness
    the senses alive

    wind whipping
    into new distractions
    give me your food
    your art
    your whispers
    tell your story
    for you call me
    in my dreams
    to come visit again

  13. C. says:

    A shadow lurks in the corners of my mind.
    Always lurking, cautiously, slyly, eerily waiting by my side.
    Snow, sunshine, rain, I see me walking pass the window by,
    And yet, I linger haunted, by this same melodic rhyme.
    Night sings to me, at times, sings mournful songs of bliss,
    While Daylight finds its way, through creamy satin slits.
    Beautifully swaying, like wind gliding across the sand
    While I sit, slowly unraveling, sand pebbling down glass hands.
    Waiting, treading, drowning, this all while you hide?
    Grasping, clutching, clamping hold of something deep inside.
    What is your name? Monster speak now
    You here?! Put a name to your face that horrid face I fear!
    Creeping, crawling under me, I feel traces of your filthy slime,
    Yet you lie, hidden, deeply veiled by fragile sheets of time.
    So I shook my wrist slowly, watched it fall down to the last
    Grain of sand, sweeping gently, across my frozen hands.

  14. April Poem-A-Day 23 – Location

    Location: Fear
    a thousand-eyed reality
    existing in a parallel universe
    denying the very probability
    of its own being.

    Location: within my heart
    close to me
    deep in my thoughts
    denying light and joy
    a whirlwind of ungentle
    moves
    concealing
    the X
    which marks the spot.

    Location: near.
    *

  15. gloryia says:

    Location

    Windows small, open wide
    on the loveliest place
    where I can hide.

    Behind the rocks, silken,
    sand covers my toes, helping
    me forget my woes.

    A favourite place, near water blue
    beside the sea, will always be
    the place for me,

    and you.

  16. PenConnor says:

    Nowhere (a roundabout)

    Our hearts can’t keep chasing our feet,
    making circles this way.
    Something must give,
    and I can’t live
    with this heartache each day

    I feel your heart and it’s dismay.
    The pain I must forgive.
    You chose to leave.
    I choose to grieve.
    The break we will outlive.

    I wish you could yourself forgive.
    I wish I could believe,
    someday we’ll meet,
    healing complete.
    Perhaps I am naïve.

    Today our hearts need a reprieve.
    I long for a retreat.
    You chose your way;
    there’s naught to say.
    We should admit defeat.

  17. Nanamaxtwo says:

    Beginning Road to Sobriety

    Sobriety, a dreaded place to live, eats a man alive:
    seismic ruptures of limbs and heart, stone cold issuing up
    from beneath neural drama, sweat pressed through every pore,
    like dry ice searing the chemical mix of blood with blood.
    Addiction swathes me in an ancestor’s quilt, each crazy
    patch mismatched as through the years of irrational craving
    I nitpicked stitches apart, unraveled trims, shredded fabric
    basic to my structure, until all connections dissolved.
    Sobriety chokes my spirit while I vomit from the need,
    the beast that won’t release me unless I die.

  18. Emma says:

    You cannot tame the mountain.
    She is a dragon:
    Exhilarating, Incredible, Beautiful.
    She may captivate, inspire, entertain,
    But she is not your friend.
    She will not hesitate to bury you if you take the wrong path.

  19. d dyson says:

    The Station

    Every night in dreams
    I am facing desolate ruins
    carrying whispers of lost voices
    on the wind.
    I gaze upon the station clock
    surrounded by serene blue,
    hands frozen on time
    whilst dust dances full of verve
    amidst beams of light
    striking through glassless window frames.
    Moss green seats line the walls
    awaiting their turn to take the weight
    off aching feet.
    I am hurrying through the emptiness
    trying to locate the right exit
    weary of the lack of queues at each stand
    with my ticket grasped firmly in my hand
    aiming to head safely home.

  20. horselovernat says:

    The Quiet Song of Earth by Natalie Gasper

    A flower is a simple thing
    With its roots and stems, and petals and leaves.
    A beautiful sight for all to behold
    But how many can truly see?
    This gentle flower may be hiding great secrets,
    Those delicate petals there to share with all a story.
    Or perhaps they simply desire to make us laugh
    Best lean in close to hear their soft-whispered words.

    Just think of all the flowers that lay at peace within the forest,
    Surely none has time to hear to them all.
    Instead, one might listen to the trees.
    Far greater are they in number; their stories longer
    They have more to share.
    Flowers share only simple beauty, whereas trees share a lifetime
    The life of a flower is but a blink of time in the eyes of a tree.
    To imagine the change they have seen!
    Centuries back their wide reach spans,
    Remembering a time when nature was harmonious with man;
    Wanting for those days to come once more.

    These trees share desire, but also know grief
    For the loss of their brothers,
    Joy at the start of each sun kissed day.
    To those who listen with an open mind they bring comfort,
    As sitting in a tree; to feel its strong, sturdy boughs that have survived violent storms,
    Ever graceful as they dance in the wind,
    Is to know the true meaning of comfort.
    Understanding this, one can share in the knowledge of the trees
    That standing alone does not a lonely heart make, and that
    While all may exist separately our roots forever connect.

    Smiling at this newfound understanding,
    This man sitting in the tree turns
    Able to see the forest in a new light.
    As he looks, he spies an old man in the distance
    Resting upon a cliff, deep in meditation.
    Smugly the man thinks his knowledge greater
    For what could a rock teach?

    But this old man is wise.
    He spent his life listening to the stories of the flowers and the trees,
    Feeling in his heart as though something was askew.
    Thinking that in viewing the forest as a whole he would find his answer
    He climbed a cliff, and closed his eyes,
    And heard the wind.

    The wind has the most difficult job,
    Carrying the songs of all to make a sonorous melody.
    He whispers gently through the forest, quietly passing through the flowers,
    Bringing their sweet stories to life.
    He rustles the leaves of the trees as they dance playfully in his silken grasp.
    If one listens closely the wind carries an intricate song
    That sends shivers down humanity’s spine.
    For in this melody the wind holds the truth,
    Showing the eternal beauty in nature.

    As the old man resting upon the cliff
    Listens intently to the story within the wind,
    He hears the flowers and the trees;
    The harmony of the gurgling streams and babbling brooks
    And feels the power of the mountains behind him.

    Those ancient giants who move for none and have lived through all,
    Said to be home to Father Time,
    Because the passage of time means little to them
    As they stand guard for all eternity.
    Mountains create the most breath-taking sights;
    Purple hued in the winter and capped with gleaming snow.
    When the moon leaves the starry night sky,
    The mountains will dance with the rising sun,
    Throwing shadows and bright rays of color as far as the eye can see.
    The wind is the child of these powerful guardians,
    Forever whistling around their feet;
    Helping eagles to soar through majestic skies.

    One eagle comes to rest upon the cliff
    To share nature’s secrets
    With the old man Father Time.
    Releasing a cry, his mighty wings outspread,
    The great sun bursts forth
    As all the forest begins to wake.

    The meadowlark begins to chirp in time
    With the echoes of deer bounding through the trees,
    Floating as if carried by the whispers upon the wind.
    This is real and true.
    Nothing exists in the world that can best
    The unending symphony of nature’s beauty,
    Of the earth’s pure spirit.

  21. jclenhardt says:

    Oregon

    The hills
    were like finely
    crafted lines;
    the perfect
    combination
    of words
    wielded
    by a Wordsmith,
    who dipped
    his pen into
    the valleys
    to draw rivers
    with his words,
    that branched out
    into the streams
    that fed the forests,
    so the clearings
    in between
    could grow
    the wildflowers,
    I’d pick in
    Summers,
    to make bouquets
    for my Mother;
    of Queens Lace,
    of Bachelor Buttons,
    and of the Wild
    Sweet Peas,
    who’s fragrance
    carried with them
    the beauty of his
    language;
    an arrangement
    of letters
    given for me.

  22. Memory of Home

    All through the house
    the vacant rooms rest
    Candles unlit
    dust-covered dishes
    Cobwebs cling to picture frames
    of loved ones long gone
    Shards of memories
    blanket the stillness
    Of laughter and joy
    of tears and grief
    Warmth from fires to ease the cool nights
    books to read and read again
    Letters written, sent received
    sharing news from near and far
    Heartbeat
    movement of thoughts pulsing
    And each quiet space
    breaths a life of moments unceasing
    Once vibrant and alive
    now whispers of silence deafen
    With only faint echoes for company
    ghosts pace against the narrow halls.

  23. JayGee2711 says:

    Milk River

    The wind is a spooked horse charging
    across the open plain, mane and tail
    stretched straight back, dead grass
    shivering in waves.

    You buy an apple pastry from
    the glass case, all buttery crumbs and
    autumn chill. A tumbling sun spins
    across the road. You watch it go
    and you drive on.

    In the west, a back yard fenced by
    mountains, tattered storm clouds flutter
    on the line. A hawk hovers above
    a stubble field, circling to the
    silent beat of drums.

    It makes you feel like one of them,
    the hoodoo stones, the warriors who
    guard the Sweetgrass Hills. You sit among
    them as the river glints below,
    and listen to their stories drift
    and settle into you.

    Julie Germain

  24. BezBawni says:

    Place in Life

    sweet formula, my mother’s song
    wet sheets and talking animals
    I’m in a good place now

    a talking doll, the alphabet
    a book about Madeline
    I’m in a good place now

    got spots, and weird body parts
    one thing is clear: boys are jerks
    I’m in a good place now

    I am size 6, that’s sooo fat!
    but well, my boyfriend is a stud
    I’m in a good place now

    I can’t believe, my own kids!
    my own anti-age cream too
    I’m in a good place now

    warm quilt, a pair of socks, hot tea,
    I’m looking at the book I wrote
    now I am in a good place
    __________
    by Lucretia Amstell

  25. Poetess says:

    Diamond In The Rough

    How I hunger for you
    You who I long to know
    Show yourself to me
    Summoned seed please grow

    Here in this lone place
    Craving a warming touch
    A foul player is at hand
    Vanquishing in me much

    Amuse me misuse me
    It’s my battle I cry
    How can I be offended
    There is no me no lie

    Mad and sad so cold
    How can I keep warm?
    I’m not really there
    The silhouette hasn’t formed

    Whirling my weary way
    Through this thick darkness
    The journey of my self
    Lost and pained and harnessed

    A wolf in sheep’s clothing
    Always looking to devour
    The dirty denial inside
    Consuming it by the hour

    Preying and being preyed
    A hungry place to be
    I can never satisfy it
    We my shadow and me

    Surrounded by it now
    Stealthily on the prowl
    A pair of skillful predators
    Thirsting together we howl

    Crazed and abandoned
    Looking to find a meal
    Will we consume it
    Or will it eat us for real?

    At the end of the spiral
    Lies the bottom of the pit
    Dizzy in this atmosphere
    I need sunrise from this fit

    Starved for who I am
    All I have is me
    Feeding on my solitude
    Letting go and setting free

    Bearing a birth this death
    Conclude it with great strain
    Vanish and be nameless
    Gone the anonymous pain

    There you are shining there
    Unpolished with edges
    A raw piece of reflection
    Poking through deep dredges

    Sparkling there I see
    You’ve been there all long
    Buried and hidden
    Refusing to play your song

    You’re pushing new ground
    Inching out some maturity
    Breaching the old barrier
    Of flawless obscurity

    I’ll cultivate and care for you
    Helping you to mend
    I’ll soften your rough edges
    Strength I’ll give and lend

    Satiated I’ll become
    Knowing a new light
    Seeing it so fully
    Claiming this fresh fight

    Cutting a beautiful edge
    Will be my new obsession
    Putting on finishing touches
    Polishing my possession

    A jewel precious and true
    So brilliant it can’t hide
    For one perpetually seeking
    Finds it searching undenied

    I see the twinkle in my eye
    And I will be enough
    To light my future path
    A diamond in the rough

  26. IN THE LIBRARY

    Words creep off the pages
    of books that surround me.
    They form a conga line,
    switching spots so freely
    that I cannot keep pace.
    New sentences emerge.
    Strange mystical meanings
    float about them converge.
    I snatch some letters from
    the musty flustered air
    and paste them in blank books.
    The pages they fled from
    don’t know or care.

  27. jacq says:

    Tannery Park by Jacqualine A Hart

    In the midst of a lion’s roar
    all I could hear above the
    one in my ear was my
    colleague, Tannery Park
    7 p.m., don’t be late

    Kayaks lined the river
    like a box of cigars
    waiting for the release of pleasure
    as we step into our
    wooden like caskets

    As if bobbing for apples
    too tired to stand
    I saw him there
    free-flowing
    dragging the current along

    The moment erupted
    “Call 9-1-1″
    “Roger toss me a line”
    Gentle as a newborn we guided
    our unknown visitor to shore

    Hands that once clapped
    at his child’s recital
    now shriveled and cold
    Arms that wrapped love lay
    lifeless in this unexpected resting place

    Reds and blues flash
    across the earthen tones
    attendants gather as if
    paying respects and yellowing of
    “police line do not cross”

  28. shethra77 says:

    Alternative Locations

    In the valley falls the rain.
    Train tracks hold the rumbling train.
    Pirates sail the Spanish Main,
    But I don’t know where that is.

    Lots of birds build nests in trees.
    Dogs and cats are homes for fleas.
    Castles held the lords of Guise.
    (But I’ve lived in none of these.)

  29. Heidi says:

    NIGHTWALKER

    The sleeping bear
    did not awake
    as she swept passed
    his slumbering
    gate.

    A night hike up
    snow plated slopes,
    mittened fingers
    scrape ice off win-
    dows.

    Past buckberry
    thistles pushing
    sunrise into
    her kitchen steam-
    ing,

    greetings of cof-
    fee, hugs, hellos.
    She knows aloes
    with onions will
    grow.

    Heidi R. de Contreras

  30. Location, Location, Location

    Not everything is about business.
    Some people’s business is nobody’s
    business if you know what I mean.

    People are always making a point
    of location. It’s all about the location—
    and I get a text that says I can be located

    by a certain number— my wife’s number.
    I’m suspect the government knows too
    but are not obliged to tell you so.

  31. LeighSpencer says:

    Attic

    It’s dark sometimes

    Light permeates
    an occasional wall crack
    stirring up dust to swirl
    and settle on delicate cobwebs

    My old things cast
    frightening shadows
    so much larger
    than they were in life

    I worry for the things I can’t find

    If not here
    then where?

    Sit in the creaking rocking chair

    Back and forth
    Back and forth
    Again and again

    Replaying each failure
    each missed chance
    to do things differently
    to be a different, better me

    Old wood creak
    sounds like voices

    My mother
    My lover
    My own

    A chorus of unanimous disappointment
    endlessly, rhythmically creaking

    I can’t leave
    but it lulls me to sleep

    It’s dark sometimes

    Here
    in my head

  32. sbpoet says:

    Dream Home

    Each night is the same as the last.

    You wander, searching for a place

    to be. You are moving house, or you

    have just moved or plan to move.

    Tiny apartments, vast decaying

    mansions, high-rises with elevators

    that won’t start or stop or take you

    where you want to go.

    Each night is unlike the last. You walk

    dark streets in the rain. Every room

    opens into another. Windows look out

    over the channel, whales breeching.

    Underground chambers. Locked doors.

    Warehouses of cast-offs and deep

    treasures. Bare rooms with tall casements

    and linoleum floors. Birds beat

    against the glass, air thick

    with white feathers. It’s difficult

    to breathe underwater. You worry

    it will never end. Your legs wane

    rubbery with walking. You want

    to sit down but all the furniture

    is elderly, it wobbles, and it is so,

    so quiet. The very walls echo

    with silence. You have lived here

    before. You will live here again.

    Room after room after room,

    you will keep looking.

    ~ sharon brogan
    http://www.sbpoet.com

  33. Grey_Ay says:

    Location Services

    [Dreamworld Heights, Indiana]
    “What, do they make dreams there?”
    “No, but they’ll sell ‘em,
    in six-packs.”

    -A. Ault-

  34. Pengame30 says:

    “Institutional”

    We’re in here together, yet all alone.

    Written By: Sean Drew

  35. Pengame30 says:

    “Institutional”

    We’re in here together, yet all alone.

    Written By: Sean Drew

  36. madeline40 says:

    Realtors’ Mantra

    If you work in real estate
    you know the mantra:
    location, location, location.
    That’s all that matters
    to your buyers.
    Some want to be
    freeway close, walking distance
    to the beach, shopping,
    the local movie house.
    Some want mountain, city, ocean views
    or to dwell in the hills
    with the rich and famous.
    Remember don’t drive them through
    the slums or where the homeless hang out.
    Your job is find them
    the location that suits their fancy
    and their pocketbook.

  37. laurora says:

    I imagined you

    You are you, you have always been you,
    but I made you someone else
    in my head,
    I imagined you
    into being someone else
    in my head.

    I did it because I want you because I adore you.
    I adore you too much.
    I don’t love you; no, that would have been easier to deal with.
    My adoration for you is unhealthy.

    I want you inside of me so I can be you,
    I want a ghost-like collection of the particles of your soul shaped like your body
    so I can walk into that beautiful illuminating figure
    and magically fit your body shape perfectly
    so I can be you
    because I adore you so.

    But then I realize,
    that this has never happened.
    I imagined it

    and then I realize, that
    if I made you up inside my head
    I can imagine you out of it as well

    I can’t promise anything,
    but I’ll try to make a see-through collection of the particles of broken promises
    and not imagine my adoration for you anymore,
    but instead imagine you out of my imagination,
    out of my existence

    You’re still inside of me,
    but I can make you leave.
    I can make you leave
    because I made you up.
    I did that.
    You are only you.
    You are not who I made up.

    I still have a lot to learn.
    But now I know that people are not supposed to go into each other.

  38. JRSimmang says:

    INCONSPICUOUS AND LEARING

    Quite conscious she is that here she lays,
    surrounded by things a-plenty.
    Frozen, smiling, perfected.
    But that was a different home,
    painted white,
    weathered, and
    solidly shifting.

    Now, aware she is, the flowers confused for hair
    are bathed in moonlight, and
    suddenly she is cold.

    -JR Simmang

  39. CLRichardson says:

    Swing

    The aged wood shows through
    On the spots where the paint has chipped away
    It was painted white long ago
    But is still a beauty today

    It chains have been replaced
    Because the rust was eating through
    But its integrity is still strong
    Its memories shining through

    This heirloom had been a staple
    Long before I was born
    It has weathered all our battles
    And all of nature’s storms

    I have not sat here
    For more years than I can count
    Every memories floods back
    As they all being to mount

    Not one thing has changed
    Yet nothing is the same
    I find myself at peace
    Because in the motion I hear my name

    Christy Lynn Richardson

  40. Laurie G says:

    Locating

    You often gestured to the sky
    from the front porch
    in our driveway
    your arms burdened with bundles of shopping–
    S.O.S. pads, apples, Danish for Sunday breakfast–
    and you told me Dad was flying in that plane
    winking high above our house.

    Often, he was, or he might have been.
    He traveled to every state, often more than once.
    When he left, we went to McDonald’s.
    When he returned, he assured me that a Hyatt in Louisville
    was the same as a Hyatt in San Antonio.
    He rained tiny bottles of shampoo and amber bars of soap
    on my open palms.

    Now I command Siri to tell me which planes are overhead.
    And there, invisible to a craned neck in the driveway or a squint from the front porch,
    is a constellation of planes, on my phone’s tiny screen.
    So many planes, so much over my head.

    But I’m glad for the mystery when I was 5, 6, 7. I am glad for the hope.
    When I was young, when you were younger, we could not know, could not be certain
    if he was there, surfing among the clouds. And yet we were.

    Do you remember the planes, the driveway, the porch?
    When you pointed, I waved.

  41. Jezzie says:

    In Cornwall

    Oh to be out on Cornish cliffs gazing
    at reflections of a million stars
    twinkling in the ripples on the azure sea,
    where the air is clean and bracing,
    as I walk amongst the springtime flowers
    after eating a Cornish cream tea.

  42. FaerieTalePoet says:

    Con Space

    When you regularly attend a convention, you enter a different realm. People you haven’t seen in months or even years become your best friends again. It is like you never left. The mundane world ceases to exist. You are no longer your day job. You are who you choose to be perhaps a dragon slayer, a witch, a kitty-cat, or just someone a little cooler than you are in real life. There are hugs to exchange and stories to tell. The more you attend, the more people you recognize and yet every time you make new friends. These are the people who love what you love. It’s like a family reunion except less dysfunctional and more fun. And even if you miss a con here and there, you know that when you return it will be like you never left. But Monday always rolls around and there are good-byes to say. There are pieces of you, you leave back at the hotel, ones that just don’t belong in the muggle world. And you pass back through the portal, return to cubicle or cash register. You fade back into the background where you shall remain until the next con comes.

    Dana A. Campbell

  43. Jezzie says:

    No matter the location,
    no matter how she feels,
    whenever I’m around
    she’ll be there at my heels.

    She doesn’t care where we go,
    she doesn’t even care when.
    So long as I am there with her,
    my dog is content again.

  44. Linda Hatton says:

    Secure My Rescue

    Speechless lives inside self-
    control where silence bobs on dreary
    surfaces lapping at your shores
         one thousand miles away.
    Stealing windjammer’s license
    to play with grainy bits of sand
             floating
            in the sound,
    you sculpted granules into castles as I hovered
    face down on superficial tongue, pushed
    back and forth by windy signals, heard
    marooned pirate’s torn purple flag
    flapping in the wind, found a glinting veil
    of morning fog to hide behind. Speechless lives
    inside this ocean in my veins, pulsing, reserved,
    reversed deserver, my floppy limbs caved over,
    connected to you still, my love’s fortress demolished
          &nbsp     by an unsuspecting force
      &nbsp     the sea
           could not see in herself.

    -Linda G Hatton
    I had fun playing with anagram. :-)

    • Linda Hatton says:

      Awww . . . darn spacing! Here it is without the typos, but without the spacing either. Boo!

      Secure My Rescue

      Speechless lives inside self-
      control where silence bobs on dreary
      surfaces lapping at your shores
      one thousand miles away.
      Stealing windjammer’s license
      to play with grainy bits of sand
      floating
      in the sound,
      you sculpted granules into castles as I hovered
      face down on superficial tongue, pushed
      back and forth by windy signals, heard
      marooned pirate’s torn purple flag
      flapping in the wind, found a glinting veil
      of morning fog to hide behind. Speechless lives
      inside this ocean in my veins, pulsing, reserved,
      reversed deserver, my floppy limbs caved over,
      connected to you still, my love’s fortress demolished
      by an unsuspecting force
      the sea
      could not see in herself.

  45. encrerouge says:

    Oakland

    on the corner of neon prairies and hushed sunsets
    since the excuse of giving in without giving out humanity
    lanterns encased the question

    every cobble stepped by sailors during a war
    –of manifestation,
    smiles in irony of the green moss
    anchoring life in the surrounding space

    and when the light revives your face
    the same paragraphs engorge the air
    within your pores, my fair
    a despair encased like a bluff’s flame

    –remember the pier Kate and its arches;
    remember the bridge and its quandary rises

  46. Scott Jacobson says:

    PERU

    At work there is a memo stating
    that we must refrain from talking
    about work. So let me tell you
    the story about the erupting Volcano
    near a train wreck that happened in Peru.
    The volcano was inactive for years
    pacified by the parade of sacrificial
    virgins until steam powered modernity
    and feminism arrived asking
    for the equal sacrifice of male
    sport stars. The government
    quickly made the difficult
    decision to change traditions
    so they could continue to win
    at soccer. Thus the population
    boom as the no longer virgins
    married professional atheletes
    creating the next generation Z
    who thought the volcano
    was only a small mountain
    so built a new city on the slope
    complete with high speed rails.
    The volcano finally woke up
    to the local sexual discrimination
    against copulating with geography.
    He got so upset he started spitting
    out smoke over the local ski resort
    scaring the no longer virgins
    who were spending the day
    in the hot tub. Then the train
    came full of Venezuelan tourists
    taking pictures of the volcanoes
    north face not realizing that he
    thought it was his bad side.
    Upon seeing the photos
    the volcano decided to erupt
    sending the train off the tracks
    and making everyone not
    want to work for his company.

  47. Mokosh28 says:

    The Stage

    At the curtain call, he bows
    again. This is his moment. With him
    I recall a place that was no place, a certain
    moment of self within a self, a play.
    A classroom once with worn out texts, teacher
    years past prime, one who made us
    memorize lines that fit in many mouths
    forever. Drama enacted on cracked linoleum.
    Lighting from grimy windows. A wardrobe
    of sneakers and jeans. How we all became
    Hamlet that afternoon, scene so perfect
    it scripted a sister-soul. A space of countless
    questions. Where asking
    is beautiful enough.

    - Joanne M. Clarkson

  48. Anvanya says:

    INDOORS – OUTDOORS

    There was a big, blank wall in my classroom.
    Year after year I struggled to populate the thing,
    cross-hatching it with seasonal symbols,
    overloading it with a gigantic paper Christmas tree,
    posting scads and scads of student work –
    we’d stage a walk-about once a month to view
    what everyone was accomplishing.
    It was fashionable then.

    One summer I read volumes of Nat Geo
    and Psych Today. Found myself longing to be
    where the wind blew free on a number of
    continents. Learned that every office without
    a window needed at least a poster of the great
    outdoors to bring Nature into the crowded
    and sterile workplace. Drove to the paint store and
    rummaged through the rolls of home décor wallpapers.
    Here is what I found: my boys wanted a space theme,
    so we settled on Earth as seen from the Moon. It lasted
    ten years. I had fun with the wallpaper paste bucket,
    booking the sections and slinging it onto the walls.

    Fresh from my triumph at home, I purchased
    the Lush Jungle wall mural for school and
    surrendered an entire weekend to cutting and sticking
    and carefully climbing the ladder – then sluicing
    paste off the vinyl floor tiles. On Monday morning,
    the first period kids were not sure what was
    different in their classroom. Second period had
    Homeroom, and took advantage of talk-time
    to ask questions and look about. By the end of the day
    our new jungle was a big hit on campus.
    Having followed the first rule of gamesmanship,
    I had not asked the official powers for permission.
    I just did the job. Nary a peep of dissension ever
    arose.

    I have to say that the mural contributed greatly
    to my overall serenity for a number of years.
    The kids got to pick and choose which parts of the
    scene got masked for the Valentine Hearts display,
    and which tree in the jungle became their Christmas tree.

    We had a lot to talk about, those trees and I, as I
    mentally strolled the path leading ever deeper into
    orchid-laden greenery.

  49. SuziBwritin says:

    PAD CHALLENGE 2014 #23 LOCATION

    TAKE YOUR PARTY WITH YA,
    WHEREVER YOU GO

    It makes no difference where you are
    It makes no difference where you go
    You can be here on Earth or Mars
    Take your party with ya, wherever ya go

    A mansion out in Hollywood could be
    The place that makes ya flow
    Or a ranchero down in Mexico
    Take your party with ya, wherever ya go

    There’s that Swiss chalet up in the Alps
    If ya sing you can hear an echo
    Or down in the valley of the Jolly Green Giant
    Just take your party wherever you go

    Float lazily by la casa ‘neath a starry-studded sky
    Singing all the words to “O Sole Mieee-oooohhhh”
    No matter where you land at the end of the ride
    Take your party with ya, wherever you go

    Eat au bon pain dan la rue des Paris
    Wearing nothing but a chapeau
    After a night of la vin et bon appétit
    Take that party wherever you go

    A party’s a party no matter where or how
    Whether rich or you got no dough
    Don’t need a plane ticket or crowd to follow
    If you take your party wherever you go!

  50. Angie5804 says:

    Moving Day

    I am sitting in a house that is slowly emptying
    It’s moving day
    Don’t know what to say
    I’m taking home with me
    To plant it new
    Miles away

  51. DanielR says:

    WATERMELON FIELDS
    Sinking in the sandy loam
    surrounded by black diamonds
    there are no sparkling gems
    it is a different kind of treasure
    growing on leafy vines
    in the heat of summer
    I bend until my aching back
    forces me to stand and stretch
    gazing across a thousand rows of green
    I sigh and wipe my sweaty brow
    with a red handkerchief nodding my head
    at the laborer next to me
    for we are one in the same
    in watermelon fields.

    Daniel Roessler

  52. Rolf Erickson says:

    There

    Turns out that There
    is a moving target.

    You like to think of it as a place
    but really it’s a feeling.
    When you get There
    you look around
    you see things
    and people
    and light
    and me.

    Things ask
    to be
    touched and held.

    People want
    to be
    seen and felt.

    Light likes
    to be
    received and reflected.

    Me wishes
    to be
    imagined and awakened.

    It’s your imagination
    that creates this place
    you call There.

    It’s the feeling you get
    when you’re There
    that defines the space.

    And the things.
    the people
    the light.

    Me.

  53. nmbell says:

    Location Poem

    Location is everything
    I only want to be near you…

    I lean my head on the hard granite
    That is all I have left to comfort me

    You said your dying would set me free
    But it has only bound me tighter

    As darkness claims the light from the sky
    I only want to be near you

    Nancy Bell 2014

  54. drwasy says:

    Found and Lost

    Tethered to
    some satellite
    circling somewhere,
    your GPS pings
    the coordinates of me.
    And even though you
    and the world know
    exactly where I am,
    I wonder.

  55. Yolee says:

    Foreclosure

    What do those people with organizational
    kills know? They can’t locate our want to
    or trace superb moments to the antiques
    that became of them; the everydayness
    of family life that bares no address. They’ll
    never know where fairytale sheets and sunny
    beach towels draped to fort in giddy children;
    stand in the yard, starved of a marker, near
    a grave the size of one loyal boxer. They’ll
    never pinpoint where the seed of struggle
    is buried or exactly where the dream derailed.
    They’ll never know where we knelt
    to polish the forks in our hearts.
    They just don’t know.

  56. georgiana says:

    Selling the House.

    The market is hot.
    It’s spring and the yard looks great.
    The paint is fresh,
    and we’ve picked up every dead bird that
    Zeus the cat (who is ours, but not
    Because the last owner left him here
    And we will, too) leaves as a gift.

    We’ve swept up the seed pods and
    cleared out the junk
    (Even though I didn’t want to let it go
    as it is all there is of my life you see.)
    But closets full to tumble say “crazy hoarders”
    And don’t sell for the price we want.
    Wanted I guess I should say.

    Why no bidding war? We ask the nice
    girl who sold us the place (and
    won our trust to sell it for us.)
    Why is everyone else making money
    while we wait in silence, vexed,
    cleaning again and again and again
    Is it the cat?

    She only smiles and say the price is too high
    the market is slow, the building next door too lous
    the neighborhood not family friendly
    (Is this the same woman who said
    we’d sell in forty eight hours?)
    And the weather, well, the weather, but mostly?
    Location, location, location.

  57. Yolee says:

    Day 23 location

    Foreclosure

    What do those people with organizational
    kills know? They can’t locate our want to
    or trace superb moments to the antiques
    that became of them; the everydayness
    of family life that bares no address. They’ll
    never know where fairytale sheets and sunny
    beach towels draped to fort in giddy children;
    stand in the yard, starved of a marker near
    a grave the size of one loyal boxer. They’ll
    never pinpoint where the seed of struggle
    is buried or exactly where the dream derailed.
    They just don’t know.

  58. PSC in CT says:

    No Lawns Allowed

    She dreams
    of putting down roots

    by the water
    beside blue flag iris
    and pickerel weed

    (a quiet place – clean, serene,
    inhabited by wild life & wildflowers,
    peopled by trees, patient, forgiving)

    and living out her life
    one day at a time

    PSC/2014

  59. ambermarie says:

    Secret Garden

    Free falling down the elevator shaft, the doors finally open
    To an underground greenhouse deep within
    Relieved to be home, I stumble towards the heart
    Crouching near the fountain
    I cry out with sickness and pain
    Rocking back and forth
    Empty except for grief, rage, and despair
    Until an angel’s golden touch comforts me
    As she reminds me patiently that we are one

    In disbelief, I wake myself from the dream
    Still recalling the scent of the flowers in her hair
    The sight of the dew upon her breast
    As if it were the truth

    Years pass and I enter an arboretum to get quiet
    Finding a familiar bench, I sit down
    All is still save the sound of water ambling over stone
    I rise to find the source, gliding through the brush
    Tears come to my eyes as I find my old hiding spot
    But I’m not there – not even a shadow remains
    I look for clues in the tiny pool and catch my own reflection
    In the mirror, she nearly blinds me with her eternal glow
    And so I take my turn to seek

  60. alana sherman says:

    Day 23 A location poem

    It is 11:30 am on 5th Avenue and 42nd Street

    We are walking along the famous avenue
    after delivering photos
    to the Daily News Building
    when we pass Frank O’Hara walking the other
    way. Of course I didn’t know him then
    (or he me for that matter)
    In the lobby Doug and I gawped
    at our world, circled the planet repeating,
    “Athens,
    Bombay
    Beijing
    Madrid”
    just for fun of the saying.
    In dreams the sun was the size of this globe,
    the earth the size of a walnut,
    and we could be at Grand Central Station
    just by turning a corner. Glorious!
    All the Colettes, Stanleys and Williams
    I passed (unawares) in those days were humming
    springs and summers of banging around aimlessly,
    restlessly. The past pulls things out of a deep well
    and what or whom do we really recall with the certainty
    of eating lunch in the Automat? We put our nickels in
    and out came sandwiches, sodas and cakes we craved. We thought
    the future would be like that—long afternoons in a new country
    where everyone would know our names. What do all
    our dreams become when life drives us
    to the distances we never anticipated?

    alana

  61. Kevin D Young says:

    WHERE ARE YOU?

    Descartes says the pineal gland
    is where we be. Swaddled in a bland
    scrotal blob of ground glass hanging
    between two lobes of gangly grey

    brain pans. Right in the middle where
    we’re supposed to be, right? Mon cher,
    where were you last night? I implored
    your eyes but they are no more

    windows to the soul than Descartes’
    grand pineal dream, an upstart
    scheme concocted by old men mad
    for the fountain of youth and sad

    excuses. Cogito ergo …
    the stink of the back seat, yellow
    nicotinoid flumes, spackled hair.
    Absent the center, tell me where.

  62. jsmadge says:

    Central Pennsylvania

    Pink ring of peonies next to the house
    Where a once-nurse is delivered a tray
    Three times each day by a girl
    From the school behind these chestnut trees,
    Flowering around curves banked with ferns
    Driving through mulch that shifts
    Decades of silence, of waiting, of studied despair.

    Centuries weigh the air.
    Silver streams ribbon through woods
    Behind fences easily slipped past
    Next to wavering mats of wild watercress
    (the better to eat you, my peppery dear)
    Along trails made by others
    Not quite absent, not quite imagined.

    Sky shut, judicial trees wait
    For feet on the silky path
    Uphill over moss stars, hollow reeds,
    Past dry rounded rock beds
    Netted with spider webs
    Which span her face, catch his fingers,
    Witness their subsequent kiss.

    Jo Steigerwald

  63. Reynard says:

    i am here
    he is there
    love everywhere

  64. Mustang Sal says:

    My husband lives on the History Channel,
    refighting battles from former wars.
    Volume up, disconnected here, plugged in there.

    I prefer Home and Garden.
    Plant this, paint that, move something here to there.
    Redesigning both of us in my head.

    Our lives programmed on the Cartoon Network.

  65. lethejerome says:

    “This Is Clearly not a Truck”

    No
    engine no
    direction no
    clear purpose no
    side windows no
    signs of spring no
    obvious reason no
    means to get us anywhere no
    notice of transfer of ownership no
    thing to say with that gaping mouth no
    sense of province or marking a border no
    sense of the immobility of the entire street no
    sense of being a nuisance to the gas station operators no
    operator no
    colour no
    clues of past lives no
    way to take off with those who can

    start

    again

    Jérôme Melançon
    @lethejerome

  66. mrs.mjbauer says:

    What’s Your Destination?
    By Mary Bauer

    Where will you go?
    Sun or snow?
    Mountains or sea?
    Where will it be?
    I don’t want to roam.
    I’d rather stay home.

  67. Nancy Posey says:

    I’m trying Walt’s suggestion (though I suspect I missed spacing one line–and there’s no way to check without starting over.)

    GPS

    We named her after Mother
          who also corrected us on every journey,
                pointing out our wrong turns,
          who complained when we took
                the long way there.
          who went along on every trip, every trek,
                every time we took the car for a spin,
          but who too never seemed to enjoy the ride.
    Now, though Mother’s long gone, I still feel her there
           riding in the back, sitting erect,
        her purse perched in her lap
           peering over my shoulder,
                eye on the speedometer
           warning me to top of the tank,
                to check the oil and water.
    She can’t quite replace Mother, though she tries.
           The Midwestern accent never varies,
                flat and bland.
           and she never asks me to turn down the volume
                 or change the station
           though she often interrupts my conversations
                 miles before my turns.
    and even Mother would mock her phonetic
           misrendering of place names,
                  sounding every syllable.
    Sometimes a touch of malice makes me wish
           I’d taught Mother to drive, just so
                  she too would have to listen
           to someone just as eager as she to tell
                  someone where to go.

  68. robinamelia says:

    Location

    This poem marks the spot
    Where a better poem should be
    But this was all I got
    For April twenty three.

    Robin Amelia Morris

  69. rebrog says:

    Captivity

    If you are tormented at night by the thought of zoo animals, battery-farm chickens, chained dogs crazed with dog-loneliness, Mr. Lee, unvisited in his hospice bed, 12 year old Rose, tethered with a cable-tie, Michael, 9 years on death row, Hana and Antonie, kidnapped in Pakistan; go to the window and open it because you can, talk to the night, the night will reward you, open a door and walk through it, turn on a faucet, watch water splash into the sink. Your mind is a jailor and you have Stockholm syndrome, calm it with its secret name, the name you whispered as a child, the name written into the whorls of your skin. Try to believe you are lucky.

    Rebrog PAD Location poem. 4/23/2014

  70. Location, Location, Location

    There is an orchard
    that I planted
    at 6045 Hyland Way
    in Penngrove, California,
    in the back yard of our first home,
    over the septic field.
    I bought those young trees,
    one at a time,
    for $4.95 apiece,
    during 1975,
    a time when we had little,
    and when their fruits would sustain us.
    Part of me remains in those trees,
    part of them remain in me.

  71. WritingisPainting says:

    Vulnerable

    One fine day
    I discovered a retreat,
    Away from the haunts of
    Reality,
    I usually visited it at night
    When tears rolled down
    My eyes,
    In the torment and memories
    Of agony,
    It gave freedom to my
    Smothering light,
    An escape it was-
    With an infinite playground
    To make those sandcastles
    I dreamt,
    It gave me the delusion of
    Reaching those elusive shores of
    Contentment,

    I knew it was wrong
    To stay there as I
    Fed on it, but
    It bribed me with soothing words,
    Eliminating away all my fleeing thoughts,
    Now as I go deeper into
    This black hole of deception,
    It becomes more difficult to
    Stand without leaning
    Onto it

  72. viv says:

    Location is French for rental, home or car etc. so my poem is my location is my home.

    Propped up on piles of pillows
    covered with cozy quilts,
    laptop poised for action
    is my favourite location
    in our location
    which is located
    in a calm rural location,
    Perfection.

  73. lionmother says:

    You Are My Home

    The pillows sit on top of each other
    Your sink is almost empty
    Your side of the bed sits empty too
    Each night I go to sleep with the
    phone near my head in case you
    call me and wake me in the
    morning

    Everything waits for you
    as if all of us were in limbo
    a sense of absence fills
    the place and we all know
    you are missing and there
    is imbalance

    You are not here in body
    for there is another place
    where you live now
    It is sterile and spare
    but it is your home now
    among the tubes delivering
    medicine to you keeping
    you there and I want to
    crawl into that bed and
    have your arms around me
    though you are weak now
    and it would be me holding
    you and then I would be
    home and find the missing
    piece of my life
    for you are my home and
    I will plant myself where you
    are

  74. Meeting In Coles

    Her chair looks heavy and solid,
    though it glides quietly
    through the Pension Day crowds.
    “Does this make life easier?” I ask.

    “Yes, and quicker.
    If I walk, even with the trolley,
    it can take hours.
    Anyway, how are you?”

    “Not too bad,” I say,
    “All things considered.”
    She laughs and splutters.”Yes,
    that about says it here, too.”

    A sweep of her arm takes in
    the chair and the pile of shopping.
    She’s trying to help her husband
    load it on the checkout tray.

    The store radio doesn’t just hum,
    it roars. Trolleys around us clatter.
    A child squeals incessantly.
    The fluorescents glare.

    “Take that kid home,”
    she says sotto voce, and to me,
    “Don’t you think that radio noise
    is much too loud? I keep telling them.”

    The one trouble with the chair,
    she confides, is it won’t fit in the car.
    “We have to take the maxi taxi, and
    they won’t park outside our house.

    “Poor old Patrick has to take
    all the shopping across the road
    and then up our front steps.” How old
    is Patrick now, I wonder. I don’t enquire.

    “Are you online?” I ask. “Think about
    Coles’ delivery service. I used to use it
    when Andrew was alive.” My mind goes back
    to hauling his walker in and out of the car.

    “I will!” she promises, and I don’t add,
    “Then you’ll be that little bit more
    house-bound.” I know, and she knows,
    there are no easy choices.

  75. gmagrady says:

    MAGNOLIA

    Cocooned by chestnut brick
    with matching mortar, spread
    by skillful hand and trowel
    a hundred years ago,
    I sit and peel a piece
    of unwanted paint
    from the cement caps
    that were never meant
    for painting.
    Privacy abounds here
    with Magnolia, just as old,
    an arm’s length away.

    Magnolia who adorns
    her lilac dress,
    at first so delicate and pure,
    fragrant,
    a debutante,
    a natural yet brief
    beauty.
    Some years she sheds,
    a slow striptease,
    unbuttoning
    a single petal at a time
    when light, spring breezes
    catch her blushing,
    and her flowers drift
    gracefully to the
    ground.
    Other years,
    in one fell swoop,
    her glorious attire is snatched
    away in a single storm,
    so violent its path
    she’s left drained of
    color, naked even of
    green flesh leaves
    ripped from her bark
    and left in a heap of
    perfumed sludge at her feet.

    Her branches—
    whether bare
    or bearing buds
    or in full bloom—
    her branches hover,
    by the light of sun
    or streetlamp,
    casting shadows on
    step and stoop,
    where I—
    when not chipping
    at the unwanted paint—
    sit with paper,
    white and bright,
    filled with scrawling ink
    and her reflected maze
    of twigs and boughs.

    Even now
    in the middle of the
    night
    with the song
    of soft rain
    and wind chimes,
    especially
    now,
    in the middle of the
    night,
    on the cusp of
    rebirth,
    there is no other
    place that
    brings me peace
    like sitting on my
    porch, with pen,
    secluded and embraced
    by Magnolia.

  76. pcm says:

    Morpheus rising

    I burrow into place
    next to you
    beneath the billows
    of a down comforter
    smelling of crisp sunlight
    from the clothesline.

    Cozying up,
    I close my eyes,
    and lean against
    your chest,
    a mountain
    with your heart inside,
    drum calling
    the spirits of the ancestors
    to watch over us,
    two sleeping children,
    claiming peace
    amidst the din
    of world calamity.

    Overlaying the rhythm
    of your heartbeat,
    your breath rises and sinks,
    a jazz brush raking
    in steady time
    as we swing
    into slumber,
    my heart’s rhythm
    slowing to match
    your calm.

    I am content
    as a cat
    curled atop
    clean linen
    in a
    laundry basket.

  77. msmacs3m says:

    PAD Day 23
    Location Haiku
    by Sandy McCulloch

    Winter locked white
    Gives way to summer grasses
    Alaskan tundra

  78. cholder says:

    Looking Back

    You say we cannot move forward
    until we look back.
    But all I see is a forest of barren trees.
    And the bird who once whispered
    in my curious ear no longer sings.
    The silence a bleak reminder–
    there is nothing for me here.
    There never was.

    Chi Holder

  79. miaokuancha says:

    April 23, 2014

    Prompt: Location

    A stone wall beside the barn.
    It held a bank of earth in place.
    Was a cliff to my nine year old self.
    Under a crab apple’s shade.
    Facing west to end of day.
    Afternoons.
    Quiet.
    A place to sit.
    Legs dangling over.
    Our cat would always find me.
    It was our place.
    For purring
    And breathing in sync.
    Warm fur and warm skin
    In front of sinking sun.

    ~ miaokuancha

  80. cbwentworth says:

    The Kitchen At Midnight

    The clock on the stove
    runs two minutes slow

    In one way it’s still today,
    yet tomorrow all the same

    The cat sits on the counter,
    begging for a treat

    Meow. Meow. Purrr. Purrr.
    Where have you been?

    Drip. Drip. Splat. Whap.
    The faucet is still broken

    The fridge hums and
    makes a weird click

    Whirrr. Whirrr. Plick. Plick.
    Bandmate to the faucet?

    Garlic rice hangs in the air,
    the skillet was left in the sink

    A glass of water, two Advil
    I should really be asleep

    Late night wind hits the screen
    Whack. Whack. Thwap. Smack.

    I should have worn socks,
    the tile is much too cold

    Sniff. Sniff. Click. Clack.
    The dog’s nails need a trim

    He stares with a quizzical face,
    Why are you up so late?

    - – -

    C.B. Wentworth

  81. Emily Cooper says:

    Re-Routing the Wheel

    Federal Communications Commission
    Chairman Tom Wheeler
    has proposed new
    net neutrality rules

    meaning that broadband
    network owners

    would be allowed to sell
    an exclusive high-speed
    toll road

    to whichever content providers
    want it
    and can afford it.

    Wheeler is a Democrat
    who says he is committed
    to an open Internet

    but open and free
    is still a “pipe dream”

    albeit with fewer and fewer
    cumulonimbus clouds

    barring the now
    prehistoric metaphorical
    superhighway Vine

    from being swung upon
    by the so-called
    have-nots

    who still have to rely
    on their sweet old

    Insta-Gram to snail-mail
    their selfies to.

    The Internet in theory
    gives the privilege
    of being in a place
    called Nowhere

    and you are a person
    in a specific place on Earth
    repping your particular location

    while being granted
    the inherent trust

    of being just another Greek-prefixed
    byte in the stream.

    Despite that rather Snappy-Chatty tune
    a trustworthy little birdie
    may have innocently Tweeted
    through the Glass

    that stream probably will never
    “trickle down”.

  82. Forgot to post title for Day 23:

    Where My Heart Is

  83. Zeenie says:

    The Letter
    inspired by Sarah Kay’s “Postcards”

    Somewhere, there is a letter
    with your name on it.

    Someone has pulled out their stationary,
    the one with perfectly frayed edges
    and an engraved letterhead, dipped their fingers
    into ink and written their heart all over the page.

    Stamped with their tongue
    and carried with their wrists,
    they let it go out their toes
    after twelve trips to the post office.

    You will not receive it.
    They will intercept it, say it looks
    too careful, too heavy-handed,
    like there might be an explosion inside.

    He will call you weeks later.
    He has avoided this.
    The letters were meant to keep
    his head from running into your voice,

    keep him inside his skin,
    but I had to know if you got it.
    You have practiced forgetting.
    In rehearsal, this is easy,

    but now, his voice, strange and cheap,
    is pushing the sack of marbles
    you don’t talk about
    into the base of your throat.

    No one knows how you tried to fit
    them all in your mouth,
    how you could swallow only
    liquids for months after the choke –

    ripping and swollen, all blood.
    They’d only laugh.
    He doesn’t get to touch you like this.
    I don’t know what you’re talking about.

    The click is louder than you remember,
    the house, damper,
    the washer and dryer, heaving:
    this is all you have left.

  84. Day 23
    4-23-2014

    Write a location poem.

    My heart is located in my
    chest, at least it was when
    last I looked; but wait, I can’t
    look into my chest, can I?

    Something beats there, inside
    me, sometimes so thunderous
    as if it wants to escape in fright,
    take flight from life’s danger.

    Sometimes that pulse of life feels
    fluttery, a joy I want to stroke as if
    butterflies dwell inside, overcome
    by elixirs of kiss or book or family.

    My heart is located in my chest,
    my soul is in my body, and my
    spirit responds to the Spirit of
    God, all three possessed, forever.

  85. phocus says:

    Memories

    I remember, as a girl in the African heat
    there were
    infinite swims in our pool and
    in the waves of the two bordering seas
    finding pansy shells on rockless white beaches and
    climbing up and down canyons in the unforgiving sun;
    riding ponies down never-ending green meadows
    and in deserted grey river beds,
    collecting precious sparkling stones;
    diving into dark water holes of ancient rock arms
    and in the deserts,
    jumping down yellow sand dunes to my own inner tune;

    Being almost bitten, when feeding monkeys at Victoria Falls,
    watching elephants, giraffes, wildebeests, and graceful sprinboks,
    lions on their hunt, hippos yawning wide, hyenas on their prowl
    and the silver silhouette of flamingos shimmering in the wet twilight of the shoreline.

    The endless wonders of nature
    left us feeling blessed,
    taught us humbleness and awe;
    instilled pride and responsibility.

    In this unmatched beauty, Apartheid made no sense
    “Whites Only” signs kept us aware
    that this was not Eden
    that beauty could be deceiving and unjust
    that perfection is impossible in life
    and that some always have to suffer.

    The bright and clear colors of locals,
    their marvelous songs, and stunning dances
    showed courage, purity, harmony, and strength
    –despite everything else.
    They taught us to be brave, to dare,
    and to not mind being different and stand out
    in a world where everything is connected and linked.

    We moved far north,
    when my parents split.

    People there liked quiet, refused to talk,
    and it was always cold.
    They all wore black, never smiled,
    and didn’t like standing out.
    They did not sing, hated colors, the light, and the drums;
    their tone was harsh, their movements rough.
    There was no harmony, and nature’s beauty was cut
    into small fenced pieces that invited no one.
    Like in prisons they lived one by one.

    So I moved away to find colors and fun
    to see nature, appreciate beauty, and meet everyone!
    To learn new things, to evolve, and to dance
    to live, not fear, and to speak freely and loud
    and to enjoy life inside and out.

    ©Uta Raina, April 2014

  86. GirlGriot says:

    I Know a Place

    Troy.
    A weight,
    hidden, dense.
    All my secrets
    kept. Long afternoons,
    long
    bike rides.
    Books read, hills
    climbed. My bully /
    my friend at my side.
    Jean –
    taller,
    stronger, hard –
    she knew things I
    avoided knowing.

    Her
    story
    twists around
    mine. But it’s time
    to let myself go, leave
    her
    alone.
    Walk away
    from her story
    learn to tell my own.

    Jean,
    is your
    memory
    shaded purple
    and grey, same as mine?

  87. christinamcphee says:

    You will find me
    on the screen
    by midnight
    Scrawled out from a quill
    on ancient papyrus
    Dead words
    silenced by time
    Reshaped concepts
    that live in a mind.

  88. Funkomatic says:

    Beige is the color of non-decision
    Our bedroom could be any color

    A green wall for verdure renewed
    One yellow to mourn our old ways

    Decorum is not the same as decorate
    After dinner we turn to stone again

    Our path doesn’t end in yes anymore
    Beige is the color of non-decision

  89. Sara McNulty says:

    The Bottom Line

    A nightclub for the younger set,
    a perfect venue, was born.
    They called it, The Bottom Line,
    and lines did form all along
    Fourth Street to get in.
    Tables and chairs, food and drink,
    sheer intimacy with performing
    musicians in a space accessible
    to all. From folk to rock, they all
    flocked to The Bottom Line.
    Bonnie Raitt’s flaming hair shook
    as her fingers flew on the bottle-
    neck guitar, her bluesy voice
    vibrating. Early punkers played
    at the start of their careers–
    Television, The Ramones, and Patti
    Smith in gray t-shirt reciting
    poems, spitting on the floor,
    her voice raw, howling, electric.
    Alas, 15 W. Fourth Street
    now houses students from NYU
    who never knew.

  90. susanjer says:

    April: Skagit Valley Tulip Fields

    I covet the Salmon Parrots
    preening in the unreliable April sun.
    I want the orange-robed
    Oriental Splendor with its outrageous
    red stripes. Why not bring home
    Abu Hassan, all mahogany and gold,
    off the steppes of Turkey?
    And, yes, I love the scarlet floozies
    that throw open their petals
    to reveal their black hearts.

  91. eileenonguam says:

    Late Morning in Bed

    from the bay window
    I stare at a cloud-studded sky
    at palm trees standing still–
    no breeze to sway their fronds
    I will remain in bed until
    the palm trees sway,
    lie here even if it takes all day
    lie here because I can make
    no sense of Mom’s sudden
    passing and why the world
    keeps spinning unaware

  92. dandelionwine says:

    Locus of Regret

    I’d go back a decade and a half to the sweltering
    city parking lot
    where he stepped from the store’s cool convenience
    into the glaring
    midday sun clutching his meal, where he shifted
    in countless layers
    of filth and clothing, lowered himself to sizzling
    pavement, tenderly peeled
    clear plastic, licked dry lips, unfolded, flattened,
    tore waxen paper
    expecting something other than unyielding kernels
    and the hard truth.

    Sara Ramsdell

  93. Alpha1 says:

    WHOSE WHO

    Where do you go
    When you sleep
    When you dream
    At night
    Where does that inner
    Self live and exist during
    That time
    Yet always gets back
    To you
    To wake you up to
    Resume your outer
    Life
    And where are you
    While this is going on
    You sleep in one world
    And wake in another
    But whose who and
    Who is the real you
    The one whose asleep
    Or the ones whose
    Out in the inner world

  94. mshall says:

    Day 23

    Are we there yet? Asked the girl.
    Of course, answered the adult.
    We are here. It is where we have always been,
    And always will be.

    Are we there yet? Asked the adult,
    Who had already been to so many
    Here’s and there’s. It seemed to make no more difference.
    Here is always and only here.
    There is always and only there.

    Are we there yet? Asked the child
    With eagerness
    Are we there yet? Asked the adult
    With weariness.
    The answer floating
    In the exact middle
    Between here and there.

  95. lsteadly says:

    Near the Border

    I have seen nothing but clouds for three weeks
    through the rain spattered panes
    a world of storm battered trees and wet matted grass
    Spring chased winter into the woods behind the house
    but not far enough for it clings
    hard to the woodshed and nestles in
    all the north facing corners dense with its chill
    keeping bulbs at bay and birds close to their nests
    and I, eager to rake winter’s detritus from the herb garden
    know it is too early to uncover the tender shoots
    testing the waters, sending out tendrils
    of green from beneath their leaf blankets
    in the hopes that sunshine will reach this northernmost locale
    beside the mountains that loom with indifference
    beyond the windy kiss of spring

  96. flood says:

    Four Other States

    It can’t be coincidence
    that Ohio looks like home plate
    on damn near every map.
    Four other states have had
    their hooks in him for
    one reason or another and
    all four talk in hushed tones
    about the one who got away,
    about the one who sits in the dark
    and has no qualms about
    letting loose his dull and brittle
    histories upon the world.
    They do not commiserate
    with each other;
    they refuse to commission
    a canvas of maybe.
    They cannot vandalize
    that which did not happen.
    They cannot enter a
    backwards K on the scorecard.

  97. tunesmiff says:

    ANYWHERE BUT HERE
    G. Smith
    ——————————————–
    Growing up we had to be
    Anywhere but here;
    They rolled the sidewalks up each night by nine.
    The bright lights of the city seemed
    A million miles away,
    And like the stars we saw how they would shine, shine, shine;
    And like the stars we saw how they would shine.

    Graduation, we took off for
    Anywhere but here;
    We didn’t have a clue what we would find.
    Some went to college, or went to work;
    Some went to see the world;
    We couldn’t wait to cut those ties that bind, bind, bind;
    We couldn’t wait to cut those ties that bind.

    Anywhere but here,
    Is where we had to be,
    Anywhere but here,
    We thought we would be free.
    Anywhere but here,
    With no-one else but you,
    Anywhere but here,
    Is where I headed to.

    I guess you’d say we all grew up,
    Anywhere but here.
    And it seems I’ve wound up back among these pines.
    I sit and watch the fireflies,
    As the daylight disappears,
    Or skip rocks on the river with a jug of homemade wine, wine, wine;
    Or skip rocks on the river with a jug of homemade wine.

  98. Home

    this house
    is bigger newer
    perfect place
    to raise a family
    we said unbeknownst
    to us a new tenant
    had also set up
    house inside me
    two weeks before
    we’d even passed
    through the door
    funny how any
    finite space
    becomes smaller
    time shorter
    as we grow
    older we take
    our bodies with us
    poorly built
    or well-maintained
    wherever we go
    as long as we live
    even when we
    dwell within another
    it’s the house
    we live in
    for the rest
    of our lives
    regardless
    of location
    or condition

    (c) Courtney O’Banion Smith

  99. poetrycurator says:

    Here is my Location Poem for day 23

    Main Event

    International
    Stars come to Tampa Bay for
    Bollywood Oscars

    By Denise Fletcher Copyright © 2014

  100. Nancy Posey says:

    The one I meant to post this morning is still on my desktop at work. Til tomorrow, here’s another:

    Location, Location, Location

    Buy lakefront property, the agent quipped,
    ‘Cause they ain’t making any more of it!
    He knew he’d said it hundreds of times,
    part of his repertoire, squiring newcomers
    around town, priding himself on matching
    the right home site to the buyers he drove
    around. He knew when to show fixer-uppers—
    cream puffs, he called them—and when
    to steer them toward cookie cutter houses
    in safer neighborhoods with good schools,
    and no crime. He knew when to talk resale
    value, when to paint a picture of permanence.
    Other men might prefer eighteen holes of golf
    on Saturday. He’d rather spend his time
    driving toward the outskirts. The lake drew
    him the way the moon drew the tide.
    Walking toward the shoreline, he’d help them
    see themselves, fishing pole in hand on lazy
    days, or sleeping with the windows up,
    the sound of waves lapping at the seawall
    lulling them into pleasant dreams. Never
    did he let them know that when the deed
    was signed, titled transferred, the moving
    van unloading in their drive, he went home
    to a third floor walkup rental with a view
    of the old abandoned Sinclair station
    across the street, trains rumbling all night
    just on the other side of the rotting fence.

  101. Deri says:

    The Old Lighthouse

    When my aunt died suddenly
    from a brain aneurysm
    the family gathered
    in her small Washington Heights apartment
    for the traditional squabbling over things:
    Jewelry — “I’ve always loved that ring.”
    Clothes — “She promised that coat to me.”
    Books — “You know that one is my favorite.”
    But on the wall was a framed photo
    she had shot in black and white
    of the old lighthouse which stood sentinel
    under the George Washington Bridge
    a few blocks from where we lived as children,
    a place where we had played, hidden, told secrets.
    I remembered my father taking us there
    and borrowing a kid’s skateboard
    as if he were still young and laying his elbow open
    as my mother chided him for playing.
    My sisters would take me and our dog
    to walk along the train tracks, cut down
    to the Hudson, sitting in the shadow of the
    lighthouse, talking of what-ifs.
    A silent emblem of our lost childhood,
    symbol of the love of a woman who understood
    what real treasures are.

  102. Hannah says:

    Reflections

    I await the comfort found in your arrival.
    This structure stands, here for our going
    and it’s present for our coming in,
    this space embraces our family;
    it’s shelter, a roof keeping us dry.
    It’s raining outside and I think of you
    returning – eyes shining as they always do;
    returning and causing our home to be home.

    Copyright © Hannah Gosselin 2014

  103. LCaramanna says:

    Mired In Muck

    Christened the Writers’ Underground
    by a teacher with stars in her eyes
    who visualized young adults
    mulling over the works of the masters,
    engaged in civilized conversation,
    deep in thought, pondering precise language,
    cascading words into prose on paper,
    the basement classroom in reality
    simply a sanctuary for adolescents
    who revel in video game glory and
    cast away Gatsby, Romeo, and Jane Eyre
    as worthless characters in irrelevant writings.

    Thirteen steps underground sets the scene for students
    mired in the muck of middle school,
    meandering through the mundane world of an English classroom
    situated out of sight of the fountain water cooler,
    around the corner from the bathroom,
    down-wind of the principal’s office
    one hundred twenty seconds from the cafeteria.

    In the Writers’ Underground
    heat generates, thermal energy rises,
    hormones rage a war against elementary rules and regulations,
    media is social, prized possessions electronic,
    yet students learn to journal emotions,
    appreciate well-written words,
    perceive occasional sunbeams through the window
    as a path beyond the muck of middle school
    to a place on higher ground.

    Lorraine Caramanna

  104. Anything Anonymous

    Can’t find it unless you feel for
    it fashion your paper map
    into an airplane send it
    to the waste bin
    by the kitchen(bar)(nursery)(casino) door
    leave without looking back
    Used to take my coffee black
    afraid of the way sugar
    crumbled
    on my tongue things fall
    apart
    afraid of that too and bills
    I couldn’t pay to save my life
    so should I throw away money
    instead? Smash
    the glass the credit
    cards with a last ticket
    with a scar
    Found out where the wild things are
    they aren’t men
    or girls
    they are men and girls pretending
    to be airplanes, small planes, old
    planes nosing around the
    smoky room, all in holding patterns
    until we can all wing it
    if not sweeten it
    take your creamer with the coffee
    feel your way to a folding chair.

  105. By The Lake
    by Ashley Marie Egan

    Meet me down by the lake
    where we spent our summer days
    discovering how to make each other shake
    under the trees that never phase.

    At our bed beside the shoreline,
    where the water always feels sublime.
    Will you return to our little slice of paradise,
    or will our place become another sacrifice?

  106. SestinaNia says:

    746 5th Street

    Over in #3, a single mom
    and two kids—loud, cranky, always
    slamming doors and rushing. I met her
    one night when the lights went out—
    I offered a spare flashlight, but she had candles
    somewhere.

    Up in #2, a family, young, that moved in
    the day before I did.
    The toddler sons have only
    two settings: dead
    or juggernaut—
    they favor hurdling through my atmosphere,
    just out of reach.
    But their mother bakes apple
    pies for me to apologize
    for the daily cosmic thunderstorms.

    I am nestled in #4
    with my second bedroom
    ready for imagined guests—
    I bring down the average
    occupancy, give the landlord
    some breathing room—less
    laundry, less showers—
    I am the balance.

    And up in #1, well,
    someone lives there—
    I see the evidence—lights
    turned on, a car parked
    that is then gone—
    but I’ve never seen or met them
    (I always suppose there are two, but maybe
    just one, or three, I couldn’t say).
    It is as if they are the subconscious
    while 2 and 3 are flailing limbs
    and I am the steady core.
    And that makes me wonder
    what they might influence
    the rest of us to do next—or worse,
    what they’ve already convinced us
    to do without our
    knowing it.

    –Sara Doyle

  107. fahey says:

    Saharas

    When I thought you were simple, you proved I was.
    When I thought you were landlocked, deserted,
    I was the one uncultured – untraveled
    in your nations – and now
    I owe you a visit.

  108. carolecole66 says:

    Re-location

    I thought to re-locate myself, sell the house,
    move to a foreign country farther south but I lost
    the path among the cacti and traveler palms
    of longing. All the accumulation of a long,
    acquisitive life threatens to crush me. The books,
    the clothes, the furniture, the family artifacts
    are stacked before me like mountains of lies.
    I have hid in those books so long I am
    like a dry page about to crumble into disconnected
    words. Yesterday, I rounded a corner, ran into myself,
    said “Excuse me,” and then moved on, not recognizing
    the face among the shadows and faint music, among
    the flux and shift of distant flutes. Once, I nearly
    dislocated my aura searching for a place to really live.
    I have become pure motion, streaming like a lava flow
    that eats whole villages. Nothing can equal that.
    It is time to return to myself. The robotic voice
    announces “your location is on the left.” I doubt
    her honesty but I’m willing to take a chance.

    Carole

  109. P.A. Beyer says:

    East Bay

    You’re that “not far enough away” cousin.
    The one that always gets into fights but
    Still gets invited to Christmas dinner.

    Gritty, with a passion -
    Where sidewalks are paved with
    Melted gum, piss and cigarette butts.

    Land of brownfields – Hell, you
    Drained the salt marshes and
    Covered your once flowing creeks.

    You built highways though
    Folks never leave and
    Nobody bothers dropping by.

    Sparring in your concrete coliseum,
    You bleed silver and black – You
    Forgotten warriors.

    But, at times, you shine,
    Like a yellow peace sign in sunlight.
    Like a tomboy at prom.

    People may leave their hearts and
    Wallets in San Fran.
    Oakland – you’ve got their guts.

    The world is yours to conquer, if
    You want it. One piece of advice – you
    Might want to set your alarm clock before Noon.

  110. BDP says:

    “Location Tending”

    The letter dropped when you tipped down the book,
    advising you to “pull but not too hard,”
    the author being genius or a kook,
    “One yank, you could unravel your back yard.”
    Signed, Great Aunt Liz. Outside you heave a clot
    of grass that links up to another tuft,
    and soon you’re on your knees to weed a plot.
    Voila! a four-square potager that’s stuffed
    with peppers, carrots, leeks and roses. Sow
    zucchini for the fall, in spring snip chives.
    Then tuck your menu in the family bible, know
    the page will one day flutter down, survive
    is written with the soil though cultivate
    a memory to pass. It’s time to eat.

    –Barb Peters

  111. Lindy™ says:

    Carolina Baby

    Sometimes,
    I just want to go back home.
    I’d have to pick one though,
    my roots are spread out
    all over the state.
    The homes aren’t there anymore,
    of course.
    Things aren’t the same.
    People have grown up,
    moved on
    and passed away.
    The towns have changed
    torn down and rebuilt.
    It’s just a pang
    I get with the fond memories.
    The bad ones?
    Well, I try to forget.
    I try…

    They say home is where the heart is
    and my heart is also
    all over the place.
    We were all together for a time,
    then left for life
    to live -
    to make new memories.
    I had to displace myself,
    like the rest,
    to learn
    to make my own home
    from scratch,
    with regrets and hopes,
    for the tomorrows
    come todays
    and maybe to someday
    have places
    to go back to.

  112. EbenAt says:

    Locate

    Fix your position,
    old school,
    with the sun
    and the stars.

    Step outside;
    leave the cell phone,
    the laptop, the tablet
    behind and sit.
    Face any direction
    you wish.

    Feel the sun
    on your face.
    Watch the clouds roll in,
    feel the first drops
    of rain.

    Stay until the light fades,
    wait for the first stars,
    for the moon to rise.
    Watch it sail
    and set.

    Raise your head now and again,
    sniff the wind.

    Now you know
    exactly where you are.

  113. TuLife says:

    “In My Heart”
    By: Tuere Allwood

    The dialogue began simply.
    How was your day?
    Good, Papito. How was yours?
    I can’t even recall how we began to fuss.
    I only remember my initial silence,
    fear that my response would push us apart.
    My prime concern
    was how to keep you in my heart.

    I could hear the hurt in your voice,
    the restraint echoed behind your tone.
    I could feel the frustration steaming my blood,
    the aggravated tremble in my throat.
    And as you questioned me skillfully,
    used reason like an art,
    it struck me
    why you dwell in my heart.

    You have to stop being so stubborn,
    you said. But it came out like a plea.
    Then I remembered that you love me.
    My stance turned limp, volume softened.
    I called your name, you whispered mine.
    We both stayed silent, as I was at the start,
    so that I’d remain in your soul,
    and you in my heart.

  114. CathyBlogs says:

    Where

    are you? Because my heart
    wants to know,
    and time and miles
    seem to mean little
    to this particular trope. Or
    is it my heart? For my chest
    feels empty and maybe
    my heart has been lost,
    and you have it?

    Where
    are you? For I
    hear your voice in my head,
    I see your pale calm eyes,
    I feel your face in my hands
    and still something’s missing,
    another great, gaping hole
    and maybe it’s you
    not in my arms,
    and how can that be?

    Where
    are you? How can I
    not know where you are,
    when I know so clearly
    where you’ve been,
    and, dear God, when I
    carry so much of you
    around with me?
    How could I have
    possibly lost you?
    My heart needs to know –

    Where
    are you?

    by Cathy Dee

  115. MyPoeticHeart says:

    the poem of -al

    Imagine if you will,
    the prompt given today
    to end in al, a surprise to all

    Our initials are al, there is hers
    and then there is mine
    two separate names-

    I have nothing to hide
    just wish to share
    to those who care

    The world sees me as one
    our friends see us as two
    two names two personalities

    We are a medical marvel
    perhaps more than that
    writing about the psychological

    So many emotions
    so little time
    we write poetry

    sometimes it rhymes.

  116. Do Not Disturb

    You actually left me.
    Reduced to distant memories.
    Disgusted and repulsed
    replaced love which used to be engulfed.
    I’m all alone
    now that you’ve gone.
    And you don’t even care
    to hear anything I have to share.
    Without you I’m not any fun.
    I miss the laughter of my Sun.
    No matter how much I yell
    no one hears me from my corner in hell.

  117. Julieann says:

    Wrong Place, Right Time

    I was downtown shopping
    When my ship came in
    At the wharf!
    Just my luck, but that’s the way it runs

    Why just last year
    I was out with the girls
    When my beau drove by the house
    To get me – to go get hitched

    Another time I was taking a bath
    So I didn’t answer the door
    It was only the Publisher’s Clearing House Guy
    With my million dollars for life

    And then there was the time
    I didn’t get to the phone in time
    And guess what, you’re right,
    The dream trip of a life time

    I can’t say I never win anything
    Or that my luck runs south
    But honestly, why am I always in the
    Wrong place at the right time?!

  118. MMC says:

    Guardian

    Where is the angel of death
    that slut that craven mistress of mischief
    that stone-faced crooked-winged
    valkyrie, armored vixen of our mortal
    desire for life who lures us forward, forward
    into inevitable nothingness, stealth,
    silence, graves full of crumbled bones
    we mistake for a savior’s offer of communion,
    and we lie down holding your stolen smile,
    your fake angelic promises, where at last
    we can look over your frozen shoulders
    and see stars burning still

  119. bethwk says:

    Saying Goodbye
    by Elizabeth Weaver-Kreider
    (farmpoem.wordpress.com)

    Remember the day
    you stood in the mud
    at the edge of the bog

    and watched the slow shiver
    of the birches
    reflected in the water,

    how you saw
    the faerie creature caught
    there in the middle of the pool,

    between the worlds
    of visible and invisible,
    how you waded out
    into the muck to release her,

    and saw–for the briefest of moments–
    as she whisked out of sight,
    the bright sun shining
    through the door from the fields of Faerie?

  120. bxpoetlover says:

    An Encounter

    When he first stepped off the elevator he
    said, “Sorry”. I looked at him as I entered. Saw
    the lit cigarette in his hand. Had thought him polite
    until I inhaled. I coughed

    trying to expel the nicotine, tar
    arsenic, carbon monoxide, and almost 7000 other chemicals
    clouding the air. I stopped

    at the local deli to soothe my ire
    with some sugary something or other when
    more clouds of smoke slapped my face

    blown out by more young men who looked
    the brother in the elevator. And me. Alongside my rage
    was a desire to hold all of them close

    remind them of our ancestors who broke backs
    picking that noxious weed
    and shoo them away from the street corner missteps
    that lead to cells

  121. beale.alexis says:

    “Did us mean anything to you?”

    I found your poem
    “Did “us” mean anything to you?”
    I guess after two years
    you’re still thinking about her. I thought
    you were past this. And
    I thought I was past this
    jealousy. I was wrong
    because you refuse
    to let me in. You keep your heart
    shut by lock and key. Invite Only.
    Occasionally, you’ll let me in
    through the window
    or look at me from the other side
    of the door through your peep hole.
    And we both press our palms
    to the door pretending like we
    feel something.
    From my side,
    All I feel is the cold
    wooden block separating our hearts.
    You keep me waiting for days
    every time I come knocking.
    Please, just let me in.
    I know she built this wall for you,
    but at some point you need
    to get some air
    and breathe.

  122. kh42711 says:

    Driving Home

    She looked at me and said
    I found a lump
    I will know more on Friday
    And all I could think is what day is it
    Today?
    It’s two days from Friday
    So I drove home empty,
    No words to say
    Just let her be okay.

  123. jean2dubois says:

    IL PLEURE DANS MY COEUR day23location
    by Jean Dubois

    quelle est cette malheur qui pénètre mon coeur?

    French Poet Paul Verlaine
    described my heart in one quatrain

    il pleur dans mon coeur
    comme il pleut sur la ville
    quelle est cette langeur
    qui pénètre mon coeur?

    pretty sharp, huh? describes my fears
    with outer raindrops inner tears

    oh you don’t read foreign stuff?
    put your mind to it it’s not too tough
    coeur is heart pleut is rain
    pleur is weeping likely in vain
    and now I’m going to ask it again

    quelle est cette malheur que pénètre mon coeur?

  124. pamelaraw says:

    My Happy Place

    My happy place is on that balcony
    in Old San Juan where I sit
    with postcards stacked
    on one knee, head bent, finger
    perched on a moving pen,
    before the palomas drift
    back to park benches,
    before the other dwellers seek
    company for their first coffees
    and cigarettes and my mind collapses
    into the black hole of the day,
    where above me the sky roils
    as yellow, blue, and white fight
    for dominance until white gives way.

  125. Linda Voit says:

    In Our Bed

    Together we make a warm
    quotation mark curving
    to open or close
    all we need to say.

    Linda Voit

  126. Amaria says:

    By the riverbank
    I sit in solitude
    Airplanes lift into the air
    Jet skis riders zip across waters
    Bumble bees linger nearby buzzing around me
    The river tides washes over the pebble stones
    It is in this place that I found peace

  127. acele says:

    In The Garden

    touching the earth
    on hands and knees
    reaching in
    the dirt

    A. Cele

  128. acele says:

    isiZulu Lesson

    Places in the Zulu language are often indicated by adding the prefix e- and the suffix -ini or -eni to a noun.

    From this my mind imagines all kinds of places:

    I consider ebuzeni
    and find myself in the place of nakedness nothingness emptiness and poverty.

    I imagine ekukhanyeni
    and find myself In the place of light.

    I ponder elambeni
    and feel pangs in the place of hunger.

    I discover ethembini linye
    and find myself transported to the place of one hope.

    I consider ethandeni
    and find my heart in the place of love.

    My Zulu speaking companion is quick to correct and offer other more expected grammatical options,
    but it is of no use.

    For I am sure these places exist
    as I know that I have visited each.

    A. Cele

  129. Bruce Niedt says:

    Today’s poem developed in an interesting way: NaPoWriMo suggested writing a “homophonic translation” poem, in which you take a poem in a language you don’t know well, then “translate” it to English based on the sound and look of the words rather than their actual meaning. Looking for a location poem in another language, I found “Bruxelles” (Brussels) by Paul Verlaine, and then started to read the backstory of the sordid relationship between him and Arthur Rimbaud, his protégé and sometime-lover whom he shot in the hand during an ansinthe-fueled rage in Brussels. Fascinating story which could make for a more narrative poem, but reading about all that influenced my word choices here, I think.

    Verlaine in Brussels (Simple Frescos)

    The suite is verdant and rose
    The columns and the ramps
    Dance and damage all the lamps -
    Quite violent brawlers we chose.

    Lord, sir, the humble abide
    To docile men, sense a glance.
    The petty arbors sense crimes
    You squelch your so-fabled chant.

    Tryst, a penitent, self-effacement,
    See appearances of autumn,
    To my languorous revision,
    Quiet burst, the air monotone.

  130. “The last hike”

    The cadence of our breath shifts as the wind
    twists the silver birch branches, mocking
    our efforts to scale the mountain highway
    in the rain It was summer at the tree-line—

    Blue violet warm with a driving heat that
    scared the mosquitoes underground Twelve
    thousand feet up and the sun is snapping
    pictures of the snails we crush as we scrape
    along the boulders slipping in the crushed rock.

    Selah ladles the khaki-colored stones into
    her pockets. She wants to design a mosaic
    of her eyes when we get home They click like
    maracas as she steps up the crowning rise

    The lightning strikes twice.

    I can’t remember the color.

  131. CLShaffer says:

    A Good Place by C. Lynn Shaffer

    How long I have eaten
    the spines of cactus,
    conjured water from my eyes
    to urge grass to grow
    on all my little graves,
    followed my own footsteps in relenting sand
    to and from each unmarked mound,
    feeding my regrets to the air
    where the dead live,
    every one of them a light inside
    the glaring sun of my depression.
    But now clouds move in,
    a breeze stirs the landscape,
    allowing me to forget their location.
    The mirages I thought were ghosts
    vanish.
    It feels like rain.

  132. Liliuokalani says:

    Elderhostel Trip to the Art Museum

    On the bus, we’re at the back, Mom and I,
    pretzeling purse straps.
    Through the window, naked forests
    grow a peach fuzz of spring wildflowers -
    it blurs to a brown smear when I face forward.
    Heart notes of baby powder and wine waft
    from ladies giggling behind us when we stop.
    They say they are going to sleep
    after all this wine.
    Between the crack of the seats in front of us
    a woman with hair to the ceiling and a lace shirt
    opens her book on the Hoover Dam.
    Mom tells me that she talks exactly like her dead aunt.
    She reaches her chin over the seat to tell her so –
    but instead discusses the weather.
    The forest watches us – our heads,
    little silver knots bobbing in the windows –
    smearing past as a waterfall
    of perfume, endings, and diesel.

    Magnolia buds
    drooping tadpoles by silk threads -
    drip wet on our palms.

  133. utsabfly says:

    Among the Clouds

    Among the clouds
    I drift away
    Soft into the spring sky.

    All that surrounds
    Is the peace
    Within my glowing mind.

    Bird’s melodic verses,
    Sifted by distance
    Are companions to my ears.

    The warmth of the sun
    Blankets my soul,
    As the tangible disappears.

    Suspended by draping moments
    Encapsulated by their own passing,
    My heart beats in pace with serenity.

    And suddenly I’m aware.
    I will have to descend once more,
    To a world abrasively consuming.

    ©E.D. Allee
    April, 2014

  134. jclass527 says:

    “Children’s Bedtime Stories”

    I’m writing feverishly. The floorboards are creaking
    all around me and the comforter is dusting my face like a
    dream catcher gone awry. Nightmares
    wrack my pen as I scratch away at these bare bones – the
    tapping’s closer, closer. Click. These’ll do the trick, mother
    always told me to bring truth to the light and that
    honesty’s a pretty good policy. Oranges smells sweeter than
    the big bad wolf, he’ll go away if I count to three. One.
    Its three a.m., and I can’t get out from under the covers. I can feel
    the wind dragging its nails down my spine, Two, through these thin
    brick walls razing smaller and smaller all around me. The light’s
    died out, and the footsteps are almost tangible now. I shut
    my eyes. Three. I put the pen down, I take a deep breath and
    whip off the covers to face the wolf.
    I open my eyes.

    -Jessenia Class

  135. Shennon says:

    Hot, sweaty, bored,
    Ready to die.
    Schoolroom madness,
    I want to cry.

    Trapped in a classroom,
    With no air to breathe.
    Lucidity levels,
    Are beginning to seethe.

    Students croak,
    One by one.
    The teachers smile,
    Their work is done.

    The few who survive,
    The torturous test.
    Cry while their friends,
    Are laid to rest.

    –ShennonDoah

  136. DanielAri says:

    WALK RIGHT IN, SET RIGHT DOWN

    on the concrete stoop, even on the sidewalk approaching it,
    my shoulders drop their weight and steeping into the warm
    boffice (bedroom office) into Stanley’s embrace, I go tender
    as a toddler, 260-pound frame and 5 o’clock shadow no
    obstacles to weeping at the loss of my favorite toy and
    the taxed and tarnished love of mother. On the wall’s an
    abstract picture, nearly cartoonish of two girls on a steep
    wooded hillside. On the other wall, the altar with totems
    everyone brought, including my pendant with the big, yellow
    scorpion encased in acrylic. There’s a photo of me from
    1967 among the other old and young faces. In that seat,
    facing him, I cry, rage, shake, wash the old angers into—
    where? Maybe that’s why the bougainvillea outside his
    window is so emaciated. Maybe it’s not poor sunlight, but
    the energetic shit Stanley eases out of me and all the
    other desperate, beautiful characters who come and go.

    —FangO

  137. mpchris1 says:

    Ode to Japhy Ryder

    Far from the Vans-slapped bustle
    of hide & seek kids and so much
    that makes them who we are,
    and the glowing blue windows
    of old suburbs,
    the whoring light and glory of cities,
    creeping softly beneath and beyond
    twined chaparral,
    walking calm like a shadow
    grazing the night
    blossomed heads of bougainvillea
    shrugging from their neck-rest
    at the chain-link fence entrenched
    in irrigation, canopied
    from the blood orange sun, tucked
    like over-loved dogs in their owner’s beds
    from time. . . for the day, nested
    in small town stacks, and encased
    within the musky yellowing pages,
    a pale light looms.
    Nothing sacred
    and everything so, this is the space
    where I met you.

    (By: Marcus Christensen)

  138. Shennon says:

    Peering out the soot-blackened window
    I observe a wasp dipping and rising
    around uneven tendrils of the
    evergreen hedge. Oppressively hot
    mid-afternoon July air shimmers
    before my eyes. I long to let
    waves of heat caress my skin,
    enveloping my entire body.

    I’d love to lean back into the arms
    of my favorite black walnut tree,
    listening to the lull of cicadas,
    breathing deeply of jasmine –
    the exotic, intoxicating scent
    infusing my lungs. In my reverie,
    I lift a hand to brush a few strands
    of hair off my cheek, absently
    grazing the white eyelet curtain
    with embroidered white daisies.

    My error realized seconds later,
    when a girl about my age with
    light brown hair and sun-kissed
    skin turns panic-stricken eyes
    to the four pane window where
    I lurk. A chill grips my body,
    virtually impaling me vertically
    in the house from which I cannot
    escape, when she utters
    the horrifying word,
    “Ghost!”

    –ShennonDoah

  139. bookworm0341 says:

    “Wondering about the wandering mind”

    Where do you travel when your mind wanders?
    Is it close to home or far, far away?

    Do you think about the past, the present, or the future?
    Or perhaps some combination of all three?

    What do the places look like in the crevices of your mind?
    Are they dark and mysterious or a cheery place to go?

    How can you find your way back?
    Once you have traveled so deep to find your answers?

    I travel far away,
    Thinking about the future
    Yet missing the past.
    Longing for those I have lost
    And waiting on the one I long to meet.

    From the shores of Ireland, to the ancients of Egypt,
    I am there- absorbing all it has to offer me.
    I am there with my betrothed,
    Someone who does not have a face yet,
    But I know his heart- the other half of mine.

    My concerns are for the present
    And what the future will bring.
    The way back cannot be found,
    As I am constantly lost in my deep thoughts
    Wandering in some other space, time and location.

    By Jennifer M. Terry
    April 23, 2014

  140. Pat Walsh says:

    PAD poem 23:

    Stage Left
    by Patrick J. Walsh

    amber violet rose the lights
    blink lackadaisically off and on
    in that interval of murmur and dusk
    as stage sits empty waiting

    curtain gilded upholstery seats
    antique heavy in dust
    of decades of nights and
    early morning hours bliss

    prop and scene and actor pass
    lightly via memoried air
    in roles played proud
    at highest arc of art

    alone on ledge I lean stage left
    outfitted in details of shows
    that once shook this house
    elevating spirits gentle and intense

    tones notes laughter glowing
    muted in filtered floating darkness
    early evening early spring
    the hall is full again

  141. De Jackson says:

    Coordinates

    I am weary of the long
    -itudes and latitudes of this un
    -quiet heart. I have taken her
    car keys and her license and
    removed all traces of travel
    mags from the vicinity be
    -cause apparently she
    never learned to Never Eat
    Shredded Wheat
    (or Sour Watermelons,
    or Soggy
    Wheaties).

    She’s pretty much flying
    by the seat of her un
    -ventricled pants at this
    point and her contents – which
    may or may not have shifted
    during travel – have finally
    thrown in the hand towel
    and simply flown the coop,
    spilling out somewhere west
            (left)
    of Albuquerque.

    I am hoping to keep her north
            (that’s up)
    of the Equator until
    she has time to catch her ever
    -lovin’ beatin’ breath. She’s
    kind of squishy, so if you know
    where I might purchase a water
    -proof carry-on
                (carrion?)
    bag, that matches my running
    shoes, that would be somewhat
    of a godsend.

    .

  142. Clark Buffington says:

    The Eleven Point River

    The burble of moving water fills the air
    There is a quiet with the sounds of nature all around
    The icy cold of water fed from deep springs
    No sound of mankind to be heard
    Unstoppable water moving ever toward the sea
    Surrounded by unspoiled wilderness
    Life fills the crisp clear water at all levels
    A refuge for wildlife and man

  143. Beanie’s Backyard

    Raindrops wet his face and hair
    The sound of snapping branches
    As strong winds push electric air
    And Beanie takes his chances

    “You must come in”
    She calls to him
    But he can see no harm
    He loves the rain upon his skin
    And this is his first storm

    One more dash around the yard
    He jumps in every puddle
    Birds have gathered in the trees
    He likes the way they’ve huddled

    In between the clouds up high
    A sight he’s never seen;
    A road to follow in the sky
    Of blue and red and green

    He points and stares in wonder
    At nature’s magic show
    He yearns to brave the thunder
    And follow where it goes

    Perhaps when monsoon comes again
    and clouds are thick as lard
    He will find the rainbow’s end
    is Beanie’s own backyard.

    diedre Knight

  144. Gwyvian says:

    Faded

    My boots sank into undisturbed memory, and
    as my fingers touched stone, I felt history
    a bared thread wafting in the elements,
    but always silent…
    this place stood for a faded textile of
    dreams bled onto a canvas of cruel fiction, but
    the unspoken mysteries of how the mountains lie,
    where the rivers flow and stretch until they
    yawn into the sea, all of this conspired to a power
    grasped in mortal hands – and now, those hands
    are dust sprinkled over a nameless legacy…
    this crumbling ruin has enigma woven into its stone,
    in the vines that creep inexorably to swallow it whole,
    the stark lines where magnificent arches once stood
    proudly surveying a land encumbered with life—
    now a shattered mirror reflecting an empty sky.

    April 23, 2014

    By: Lucy K. Melocco

  145. A Final Resting Place

    My father asks if I want to see the niche
    In the mausoleum wall where his ashes will
    Reside. I do, since I imagine safety
    Deposit boxes locked away behind a vault.

    Years ago he said he’d donate his cadaver
    To science. I imagined him carved apart
    On a metal slab. Perhaps it was the time
    Between his marriages when he lay down

    Alone. It’s hard to know. I like that more
    Than the horror of a wall of niches
    That one day, thankfully, must fall to dust, fertile
    Ashes freed at last to feed some wanton

    Seed somewhere. Or is the small confines
    Of darkness boxes bring? The casket closed
    Over my mother, and we lowered it
    Into a concrete shell, a box within a box,

    Covered them and buried her. I stood
    On the hillside in the rain and swore
    No box of any kind for me. Burn me
    If you must and throw me to the wind,

    But know I’d rather you lay me out
    Below the sky and let the vultures come
    To feast. Let them pick me to the bone
    That some part of me takes wing and flies.

  146. Gwyvian says:

    The spot

    I was waiting on the edge of a journey,
    when you came up to me to talk—
    there was that awkward pause and I just had
    to smile at that spot we never quite got to,
    a timeline never started, a sequence incomplete:
    we’ve got time, but you haven’t the courage to speak;
    after that I was wandering nearer a place that fed me,
    with new connections on arrival almost an anomaly,
    but all that hunger eventually bled me dry, and
    I had to find a spot alone where I could just exist
    without the incessant leap to leap to catch the ledge—
    I wanted a spot of quiet, where not even you
    could come after me with the never said hanging
    like a tantalizing honey string of meaning—
    I’m supposed to bite, but I never could fathom why,
    when my feet will take me away before long again,
    and your silence has by far not convinced me;
    but you persisted, in a way, so we took a walk in
    the park, and with the darkness descending, my steps
    grew lighter, eyes sparkling with the delight
    of midnight plunders ahead: schemes to unveil,
    plots to unmask all the secrets of what you are until
    we arrive at that spot, just at the bottom of the hill—
    there, the vertigo of exhaustion dulled my vexation,
    and I thought for a moment you would step
    over the barrier to that place your eyes beg me to go,
    but never quite managed to bring yourself to it so far;
    now we take the leap, I think, with something as
    innocent as a dance in the moonlight—
    a suspect move that screams of those masked desires,
    but my attention shifts easily from you to a flicker
    just at the edge of my vision…
    you mock me that I saw a fairy, but just as I saw it,
    there was a moment inside your smiles,
    untarnished by your intentions, a reflection of light
    in your deep eyes that made me shiver—
    that was convincing enough, and I knew that
    I was suddenly caught, basking in the symmetry of
    our merging minds melting into a delightful geometry;
    there is a light around us, but thoughts grow difficult,
    displaced by just a hair – and in love for the minutes
    you spun me around, laughing, we broke free finally:
    a lurching step back to the spot where we had been…
    …it was a time until we realized that an age had
    passed in those few moments – we grew distant,
    just as I had predicted, but the difference
    is that now we shared a bond of knowing:
    that spot was the place we loved, a place where
    years were lost to us, years we could have spent as
    true companions – now, the place where we
    took away from each other something precious
    and our dalliance cost us so much – but who
    could have thought that a single spot
    would take us such a distance, just to be one
    for a single, brave moment…

    April 23, 2014

    By: Lucy K. Melocco

  147. starrynight3 says:

    Grief or Landscape
    In Alaska, I do not think of it anymore. Vast
    Space can hold this broken heart, can hold
    A hundred thousand rivers, lush with lupine,
    The reaching fingers of tributaries, pebble-heavy.
    The Great Land can hold small prayers
    As they make their way up creeks, to rest in pools
    Where they bathe, as though in a mother’s womb
    Before swimming, brief lights in the water’s glint,
    Against the hard white current,
    Hurtling themselves to the sky.
    Carpe diem!

  148. James Brush says:

    THE RAMBLE
     
    It was a sunnycool autumn day when I wandered
    the Ramble in October of 2010. I wound up in
    the 80s, planned to hit the Guggenheim, which I’d
    wanted to visit ever since I took that art history
    class my senior year when I sat between Emily
    and sad Maria. But everything in the museum was
    dead, just a bunch of paintings and tourists and
    a couple of potheads giggling at these famous
    pieces by Kandinsky and Pollack and Picasso
    and other celebrity artists. But I wanted a hot dog
    and to get back to that perfect day where I could
    shoot birds with my Nikon, and the leaves all
    changing colors in a way they never do in Austin.
    I said it was a cool day and I suppose it was, but
    I’m not from New York, so what do I know? Maybe
    it was hot. And so out onto 5th and back across the
    park to the Upper West Side. I hoofed it to Columbus,
    loving the city, loving the day, the weather, the birds,
    loving you, travelworking in some cubefarm in Midtown
    on this beautiful day. I skipped the Natural History
    Museum since you’d want to do that and someday
    I bet we will, and we’ll bring our son who was with you
    that day too even if we didn’t know it. Didn’t know it
    at the time, it wasn’t just the two of us anymore.

  149. #382, Burlington, NJ

    The shades are pulled down, masking
    the heavy glare of sun. I am a statue
    in front of a machine – scan, scan.
    Sometimes, a voice raises over a grumble,
    actually makes eye contact with me.
    Sometimes I manage to lift my head
    and pretend I care – about what they
    buy, about their annoying children.
    It goes on and on – scan, scan, bag.
    This is not where I should be.
    If the wind would die to a faint shrug,
    I could be on a bench, staring out into
    the waves of the creek, my fingers -
    tapping, tapping, erase, erase. tap.
    I check my phone for the weather, it
    shows a large cloud and tells me its
    dreary. It almost sounds like a joke.
    I am still here and the faces start to
    blend together. I hear the same words
    over and over – Marlboro, Newport
    Just the coffee.

    This place is Hotel california,
    it is my own event horizon.

  150. Emma Hine says:

    RELOCATION

    Where am I
    and where will I be?
    Is it a place
    where echoes resonate,
    where silence shouts,
    where I can be free?

    Where are you
    and where will you be?
    Is it a place
    where oceans withdraw tides,
    where waves retract,
    where you start to see?

    Where are we
    and where will we be?
    Is it a place
    where the moon changes spheres,
    where planets collide,
    where two becomes three?

    Where is it
    and where will it be?
    The place for love,
    for rewriting the script,
    for new beginnings,
    for you and for me.

  151. Linda Lee Sand says:

    The Porch Swing

    Back and forth, around in an
    oval it sways in the rainy
    breeze, and rocks itself,
    like a baby,
    to sleep.

    How many times have we,
    coffee cup in hand,
    greeted the morning
    sun there, or
    sipped a cup of
    wine where before
    dinner,
    swinging in its
    wooden arms,
    we solved all the
    world’s problems?

    Some places are meant
    for good, I think,
    not harm.
    The porch swing,
    lulling
    at a distance, just so,
    is one of them, or
    should be.

    We rock
    We talk
    We rock
    We talk
    And when we are done
    the swing, in the breeze,
    soothes and entertains us
    in its easy way.

    And now I watch it swaying
    alone in the rain and it doesn’t
    seem lonely, only waiting
    for someone to rock
    back and forth,
    to rock
    to an fro
    to rock
    and talk
    and watch
    the world
    go by.

  152. julie e. says:

    FINDING HOME.

    If You could have just
    Spoken up, God,
    just
    used a louder voice
    Maybe she could have
    heard You over the
    Pronouncements
    Announcements
    of No Worth
    and
    Self-Hate
    But they were being
    etched
    in her bones
    long before she had words
    in that dark place called
    “home.”
    And when the wine
    and the pills
    became
    an easy way
    to slide away
    hide away
    muffle the pain
    she slipped off
    in morning sleep.

    I just wish You would have
    spoken up, God,
    showing her
    that
    Home
    was already there,
    in the heart of her
    where
    the people who loved her
    lived.

  153. MaryAnn1067 says:

    At Water’s Edge

    at water’s edge
    tarblack rocks
    shelter small pools where
    tiniest of fish dart, safe
    for the moment, secure,
    locked in constant
    movement,
    rippling causing circles
    that intersect, then
    break, repetitive as breath

    (greyshelled, a collection of blood, sinew,
    flesh, bone, all bound
    together by twining filaments, clinging to
    an opalescent interior, smooth, curving,
    rainbow mottled, mother-of-pearl
    sleekness within, without an exterior darkribbed,
    edges sharp enough to
    gouge the fingertips, bony teeth
    tasting blood mixed with
    salt water)

    until the tide rushes in, noisy,
    untrammeled, unmannerly, pounding, over
    this threshold of sand and rock,
    thick with green ribbons of kelp,
    briny, stunted flowers, washing over, saltgreen,
    the saltgreen sea,
    over stinking carcasses of horseshoe
    crabs, to wrest these fishes from
    their pools, sending them
    to certain death

  154. Shell says:

    Locality
    By Shell Ochsner

    Now is presently a nice surprise

    Taking for granted can be your demise

    Today’s a gift now hold it wise

    Be thankful that the sun will rise

    Never, ever compromise

    This place in time, holds its ties

    Supposed to be, do not chastise

  155. Amy says:

    Skin Rose

    His tattoos serve
    as green-black needles that point
    to heart, to home.

  156. PressOn says:

    TULE FOG

    California’s Central Valley
    is really Irrigation Alley:
    its green’s so faux you’d want to flee it;
    that is, of course, if you could see it.
    It’s often cloaked in mists unruly:
    the cotton fog that’s known as tule,
    which, when its formless flows arrive,
    would make you rather walk than drive.
    If so, you’ll jog with eyes agog,
    for tule fog is truly fog.

  157. Janet Rice Carnahan says:

    HAIKUS TO THE HEART

    Entering into
    The heart of love brings us peace
    Because truth is there

    Truth is in our heart
    It knows, it see, it feels love
    We are not separate

    When we know our heart
    All of who we are can smile
    Knowing that love’s real

    What is in our heart
    Will not ever leave our side
    It is within us

    Loving our own love
    Keeps us feeling positive
    True love sets us free

  158. Brian Slusher says:

    GALLERY

    We stroll its light corridors, at first
    pausing in concert at each painting.
    You look quickly, fluidly, as though
    drinking water after a long hike. I stop
    and stick, like a stubborn drawer
    that won’t open. Soon you are several
    masterpieces distant, flowing on a
    stream of images, while I
    circle and circle
    the rim of a
    sunflower.

  159. Janet Rice Carnahan says:

    WHERE I FIND YOU

    Letting the wings of love gracefully fly
    I know in my heart where I can find you
    Energetically the love sends me so high
    Lifting our spirits up, soaring together as two

    Love wrapping us in the warmest embrace
    As if love itself is dancing to the inspiring song
    With its dips, twirls, ecstatic vibration spinning pace
    In this depth of love is definitely where we belong

    Inviting this love to guide and show us the way
    Leads us to know love’s truthful meaning to unite
    As if the whole of the cosmos are having their say
    Joining two lovers through the highest intention of light

    Once the spirit and flight of pure, inspiring, uplifting imagination
    Comes back to earth we smile, knowing the freedom of love . . .

    Found its greatest vacation from an inner location!

  160. shellcook says:

    Under the weeping willow tree,
    is where I love to be,
    unless, of course, I am out at sea,
    riding the murmuring waves,
    atop the tip of a great big ship
    plowing the cerulean waves.

    But willows arms bring gentle thoughts,
    of love, all soft and warm,
    unless red mountains come my way
    upon a dawning morn,
    then I become a bird in flight,
    with measured sailing above the world
    a guardian of all three.

  161. PKP says:

    That Naughty Spot

    How many have
    pointed and wondered
    fretted and what-not
    squirmed and informed
    and still not quite got

    that darned spot that
    seemed for some
    to move, float and to elude
    though one might have thought
    it simple to see right there out in
    the nude

    but somehow the spot is impish
    dodging, teasing laughing – see?
    snatching pleasure away
    giggling gleefully
    and it finally comes to this
    too often for too many
    that spot turns not-got cold
    results in too many not getting
    any

  162. Janet Rice Carnahan says:

    SOMEWHERE CLOSE

    Gentle landscapes
    Wind whipped hills
    Emerald colored trees
    Filled with freshening fruit
    Bundles of berry bearing bushes
    Just right for the picking
    Sparkling coastlines
    With a brilliant sun
    Dancing high on a sapphire sky
    With an ocean
    Flowing in harmonic motion
    Brightly decorated birds
    Unique beautiful vibrant sounds
    Through flashes of feathers
    Gliding on a breeze that ease
    An active, cluttered mind
    A joy to find

    Created somewhere safe
    A place where life regenerates
    Anything that hates disappears
    As the heart clears
    Anything it nears
    Gone are the fears

    The soul is present
    In each moment
    Of peace
    Standing
    In
    The
    Stillness of . . .

    Now

  163. Gwyvian says:

    Tranquility

    I harvested this place, tucked it away
    in one of the drawers in my mind, where
    I could come in moments of anguish and
    moments of disconnection – when feelings
    seem tainted by lack of direction, I visit
    in my mind and collect droplets of peace,
    a sweet nectar that soothes the snarls
    and evens the chaos into smaller wrinkles,
    patches of shade on a sunny hillside; here,
    there is simplicity, and unconsciousness
    where events narrow and voices cease—
    this place has something I want, that
    palpable taste of sweet wonder; here
    just at the water’s edge with the moon
    swimming on ripples, and the soft grass
    beaded with a light sprinkle—
    this place holds the promise of
    timelessness, where nothing matters,
    a vision of solitude where dreams
    can spin without hampering doubt; here
    there is a light in the distance and soft
    susurrations of a breeze, and all of it fills me
    till I am once more at ease; here
    where everything began, or perhaps where
    it all ended – either way a completion,
    a new beginning not fraught with
    frayed ropes of dissatisfactions; here
    where I drink what I cannot have, where
    the impossible is merely a small impediment,
    a place of reverence and tears, secret smiles
    and treasures nestled in abstractions
    that never see the light of day; here,
    there is tranquility in this mélange of
    my harvest, here, in this place.

    April 23, 2014

    By: Lucy K. Melocco

  164. lshannon says:

    An Island in Three Acts

    I was small
    you were generous
    gifts of warm waves
    too-salty pasta
    creaking deck and
    billowing sail

    shoes by the bed
    for killing black bugs
    soft warm air and
    geckos clinging
    it was a crossroads
    a life I never lived

    I was older
    meeting you again
    discovering a place
    more than a person
    gracious open
    palm and poinsettia

    one more visit
    lover and friend
    scallops and
    tree-drying pasta
    a surprising love song
    changed everything

    now a memory
    decades in making
    salty dollar and conch soup
    my seven year self
    my searching self
    my loving self

  165. SMOKE’S CREEK RUNS UNDER WOOD STREET

    Standing on the bank
    of the creek, you’re depressed.
    This place is a mess.
    Sharp shards of glass protrude,
    with open containers strewn
    under the bridge that gapped
    the aches and pains of your reality
    with the memories of your youth.
    Rocking on the flat stones
    breaking limbs and bones
    as the rocks sway in the water
    to slide and sink, thinking twice
    before you perform without
    a stunt double; you got in big trouble.
    Stolen memories you could bank.

  166. PKP says:

    There Is No There There

    In the why and where
    there
    finally one comes to
    know
    that after all the
    looking there is no
    there, there
    no pinpointed
    happily-ever-after
    princess – unicorned
    place
    where good girls only get
    to go

  167. Kit Cooley says:

    Whiteout

    More used to color,
    I find it difficult here,
    whitest town ever.

    ~ Kit Cooley

  168. matthew says:

    The Flowers Bloom Like Clock Work Too

    I forgot what country this is
    some country with talent
    Look there a kid is chasing
    a small dog
    the dog looks happy to be chased
    and the child is laughing and running
    as they turn off the sidewalk
    into and alley
    past a bent fence post
    where the chain link fence is sagging
    And look into that kitchen window there
    a woman is washing dishes one by one
    each dish is scrubbed and rinsed
    and set in a dish rack to dry
    she is humming a song
    and watching the hue of the sky
    change as the sun sets
    on this Rockwell town
    the street lamps have replaced
    the sun sad light lamps
    a poor replacement for the sun
    the locusts buzz and
    generators hum
    light bugs leap up
    little bottle rockets to their
    own independence
    every little common thing has been
    done gracefully
    what a wonderful country
    if only I could remember which one

  169. PKP says:

    Location, Location, Location

    Grandfather passed the
    “clicker” to her and
    let her count as throngs
    of midtown city folk
    thronged – bumping
    into one another in
    their lunch-hour
    rush
    on the
    OTHER
    sunny
    side of the street

  170. I want to live underground

    As a small boy
    I enjoyed digging holes
    Seeing how deep I could go

    Family road trips always stopped
    At roadside crystal caverns
    With cheap souvenir shops

    I moved my bedroom to the basement
    So much more peaceful there
    Cool and dark as an eternal rainy morning

    I slept underground until moving to a dorm
    And after so many walk-up apartments
    I desire a return to the earth

    I would dig into the south side of a hill
    Dirt for insulation
    Grass for shingles
    Still earth beneath my feet
    Closer to the core

  171. PKP says:

    Under There

    They say he is under there
    under the earth that every
    one took a turn shoveling
    on top of a box
    where they said
    he was resting
    The say he is under there
    now that the grass is grown
    I could say maybe
    but it still
    doesn’t make
    any sense at
    all

  172. LeeAnne Ellyett says:

    Location

    Location, a place on earth,
    with-in your life, measuring your worth,

    Location, a change in altitude,
    attitude, a new avenue,

    Location, take a vacation,
    the soul awakens,

    Location, location, location,
    forsaken, mistaken, expectations.

  173. ToniBee3 says:

    “Auto Vent”

    this therapy chamber
    in its idle time has
    a way of extracting the
    vulnerable sides of me and

    irrepressible squeals and
    hollers of inadequacies
    are sealed within these
    four locked doors and

    i’m voluntarily trapped
    an emotional piece of cargo
    oscillating cross-legged and
    barefoot pounding the wheel

    in a disturbing exhibition
    but in no way pretentious
    merely shattered and in
    need of an ephemeral release

    and i mop tears across my
    thighs and leather seats
    not unfamiliar behavior
    in these multi-minute sessions

    and the prescription is silence
    no interruptions, no judgment
    it’s merely a keeper of my
    burdens on overload and

    to the left of my right
    temple bears an imprint
    from the wheel propping
    up my unwinding senses

    and finally a lighter and
    lifted self exits ready to
    prepare a delightful
    dinner for the evening

  174. SEATS AT THE REGAL

    Once upon a time, it was Majestic;
    a kingdom from a golden age
    where long ago would be staged
    celluloid festivals for the eyes and ears.
    Offering jeers and tears, cheers
    and frightening fears of a beast
    from an unknown dimension.
    Did I mention matinees and serials
    on Saturdays; memories of a bygone day?
    Now state of the art, you start at the concessions
    for bucket and barrel from sterile environs
    massive media madhouse multiplex,
    stadium seats that align in neat rows.
    That’s how it goes. First run offerings
    fit for a king. (As long as you
    pick what the queen wants to view!)

  175. some days
    a struggle of words
    to watch the clouds
    idle by while my father
    hangs by a line in the ER

  176. INTROVERSION

    The insides of the eggshells from this morning’s
    hardboiled hotel breakfast are a pale aqua blue,
    almost the exact shade as the walls of my bathroom
    at home. After I’ve eaten my meal, I think
    this is not how those eggs might have preferred
    to end up, split apart as they were from the outside,
    not the way nature might otherwise have intended.
    They are now so very far from their nest.
    I myself am hundreds of miles from my
    own nest, uncomfortable, and missing home.
    Being out in the world isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.

  177. Wherever you go
    my spirit will go with you.
    i am where you are.

  178. A Place of Meditation

    Deep breath in — I am
    long exhale — Love
    In — I am
    Out — Love
    In — silence
    Out — thought
    In the moment
    out amid the universe.
    In discovery — I am
    out to the world — me.
    In a state of being
    outside limitations.
    In my head dancing with light
    outward my heart offers warmth.
    In breath, I exist
    out of vapor, I expand.

  179. Delaware River, 2010

    This is where it started,
    the place where you gathered
    me into you and wrapped me in
    your body, like the warmest
    cocoon. The sunlight reflected
    off the the soft waves, men
    wearing workout pants jogged by -
    no one noticed what we started,
    there was no one there to say
    that it was wrong, that the solace
    we took in each other would pierce
    our hands and heads, keep a lifetime
    of what if’s on ice every time your
    name was on my breath. The rusting
    railing left a faint orange line on
    my coat where your body pressed against
    mine, our lips meeting over and over.
    My shoe untied in the melee of us,
    the quick movements of limbs and toes,
    and you bent down and tied me back
    together, then rose and put my face
    in your hands. It still longs to be
    back in that space, that crook of jubilation.

  180. priyajane says:

    Sit Beside Me
    Sit beside me, just for a moment
    In that special place, on the fresh baked sand
    where I would etch your name with spells
    and watch it wash away, in star shaped shells
    of you
    Sit beside me, just for a moment
    where the sky blew strawberry scrolls
    of words unheard, unsaid, but swirled
    and rolled, in dreams of moonlit pearls
    of you
    Sit besides me, just for a moment
    where the sidewalk met green strolling paths
    where glimpses stolen, found a nook
    and I would hold that picture book
    of you
    Just sit beside me, for a moment
    and let me show you those places
    where you once lived
    Just for a moment, sit beside me, there —-

  181. With You, Everywhere, but Only in My Dreams
    Lydia Flores

    My fingers scrawl
    the words of silence
    on your cool cheek.
    I kiss you lightly upon
    your lips and taste wind
    calm, we sail the seas
    rowing the boat with
    our tongues the ocean
    rushes and slams our
    heart beats to the sand.
    You bury your head in
    my neck and the sun
    brings me summer sooner
    than winter can melt it’s
    snow from my breath.
    Leaving nests for flight
    a humming bird wings
    buzzing and hovering
    in mid air of your pleasure.
    Whispering through valleys
    you pull out all my secrets
    and I become the glowing
    light at the end.
    slowed currents, breaths
    ripple out and back to
    the surface. or home.
    Your tide pulling me
    in to your arms. rest,
    a shore and sighing waters
    a calling to a kiss I give upon
    your lips the waves touch. and
    go back. into sleep we recede.
    Again to scrawling silence
    awakening my wings, without
    a humming of joy, in these
    empty fields of soft sun
    fluttering in loneliness.

  182. AleathiaD says:

    Upstate

    The days are never predictable in New York.
    I’ve grown up with the saying
    if you don’t like the weather, wait a minute.

    It has been a life lived in layers
    and looking to the sky each morning.

    Today my daughter comes down the stairs
    in shorts and a tank top expecting a repeat
    of the previous day’s warmth.

    She is deflated when I tell her
    the high of the day is 45 with rain.

    With slumped shoulders
    she goes up to her room to change.

    I rouse the dog for his walk
    and am thankful I’ve yet
    to put away the winter coats.

    Aleathia Drehmer 2014
    April 23 Location

  183. LONGITUDE

    I’m not sure
    where I am
    on the map

    as if life
    could ever be
    navigated that way

    the only latitude
    I need is
    to be freed

    from my own
    expectations of where
    I ought to

    be by now

  184. Michelle Murrish says:

    Guest Room

    I never seen more righteous angles
    Then the four that make this room
    Every line, as straight as a church mouse
    With white walls painted whiter

    The sign above the bed reads
    ‘all are welcomed here’
    but with out a place to hang my hat
    I get the feeling it’s not sincere

    By Michelle Murrish

  185. Jane Shlensky says:

    Abroad

    I wake from foreign dreams
    disturbed and lost
    in India I think or Pakistan
    but cruelty can happen anywhere
    and characters I favor as I sleep
    betray my faith in them
    and only seem to craft
    a dreamscape I would own.
    They play me, make me want
    to stay awake all night
    and write bad poetry
    about dark shadows squatting
    in my brain until I’m dull
    defenseless to object,
    about how they’ve turned surly
    with neglect and moved into
    night visions, new terrain.
    I struggle to embrace them
    feeling false, but wake up emptied,
    something moved away.
    I can’t identify what’s lost within;
    I cannot say exactly where I’ve been;
    I note a vacancy, shifting to day
    but you were there,
    and never once said stay.

  186. A Rock is Meant for Sitting

    I follow your footsteps
    up small, side-of-the-mountain stones
    meant for climbing.

    Wet tracks glisten
    from three sets of boots –
    mine will make the fourth.

    Halfway up the mountain
    we sit -
    ducks in a row -
    pointing to Lake Windermere
    in the distance.

    I ask if we can stop climbing
    long en

    • Please excuse the incomplete poem above. Below is the full poem. I am posting this from vacation, and all I have is a phone.

      A Rock is Meant for Sitting

      I follow your footsteps
      up small, side-of-the-mountain stones
      meant for climbing.

      Wet tracks glisten
      from three sets of boots -
      mine will make the fourth.

      Halfway up the mountain
      we sit -
      ducks in a row -
      pointing to Lake Windermere
      in the distance.

      I ask if we can stop climbing
      long enough to take it all in -
      not yet wanting to wander down,
      but not wanting to go
      any higher.

      My eyes rest on water
      and the jagged rocks all around.
      A single, black slug
      makes it’s slow, wet path
      across a piece of slate.
      It is as

      • A Rock is Meant for Sitting

        I follow your footsteps
        up small, side-of-the-mountain stones
        meant for climbing.

        Wet tracks glisten
        from three sets of boots -
        mine will make the fourth.

        Halfway up the mountain
        we sit -
        ducks in a row -
        pointing to Lake Windermere
        in the distance.

        I ask if we can stop climbing
        long enough to take it all in -
        not yet wanting to wander down,
        but not wanting to go
        any higher.

        My eyes rest on water
        and the jagged rocks all around.
        A single, black slug
        makes it’s slow, wet path
        across a piece of slate.
        It is as if he is not moving
        at all -
        his body’s breath
        is movement enough.

        Cristina M. R. Norcross
        Copyright 2014

        (Day 23 has proven to be frustrating without my computer with me. Apologies again. This last reply has the full poem.)

  187. PatsC says:

    Happy Hour

    It should be quite simple,
    The feeding of birds,
    Buy feeder and seed,
    Select a high branch.

    Immediate fulfillment,
    Wrens, finches, chick-a-dees,
    Awake to music,
    The singing of gratitude.

    Refill and replenish,
    Again and again,
    The gluttony of the small,
    Surprising to man.

    A leap of fur,
    A grasping paw,
    Seeds and feeder,
    Flung to the ground.

    A squirrel banquet,
    A nuisance feast,
    Baffles purchased,
    Battles begin.

    Move the feeder,
    Mystified briefly,
    Move the damn feeder,
    Losing the escalating skirmish.

    Googling daily,
    Outthinking a squirrel,
    Fancy degrees mean nothing,
    Rodents with sly boots.

    Considering cayenne,
    But foresee wee salt-rimmed glasses,
    Tequila shots for all,
    The cantina, my backyard.

  188. Jane Shlensky says:

    Proximity

    That dogwood was misshapen, I know now,
    lopsided crowded by big hardwood trees,
    its backside canting upward like a wing,
    its front limbs reaching downward like a fan.
    I sat behind its veil of leaves, well-screened
    from siblings, parents, entertaining dreams,
    broad sunlight making patterns on thick moss
    like carpets at its roots where I would play
    for hours at being me, lacy with light.

    The tree was tucked into a forest’s edge
    and looked across a pasture and a pond.
    “Stay within earshot” was our rule of thumb
    so if we heard our name, we’d know to come.
    My secret tree was far enough I’d need
    a shout to bring me back from reverie.
    You want that kind of distance when you think,
    a place just far enough to set you free.

    Of course, it was not big, but I was small;
    in memory our loves can grow so tall
    we cannot find them in our walking world.
    And logic should have told me dogwood trees
    hunker to earth, not like oaks touching sky.
    Just so, reality reshapes a place
    as surgery will smooth lines in a face.
    Third person memory sees through the veil:
    a little girl eavesdropping on the world,
    the fanning limb more like a broken wing,
    protecting her from dark self-crushing things
    where red is a betrayal that she wears.
    Raised voices call her, searching everywhere,
    their urgency suggests to her they care.

    It doesn’t take so much to salve our souls,
    brief closets in ourselves where we can go
    to meet imagination, redesign
    the lives we yet could have, the selves we are.

  189. James Rodgers says:

    Cubic-Ill

    My workspace
    is about four by four,
    only big enough
    to lie down in
    if you curl up
    in the fetal position,
    which I do often.
    The walls
    are just tall enough
    to obscure
    whatever interesting
    might be happening
    in the rest of the office,
    and the sides
    are covered
    in a spongy,
    soul-sucking tan fabric,
    just soft enough
    that it only hurts
    a little bit
    when you bang your head
    against it repeatedly.
    I’ve tried to decorate,
    bring in photos,
    a stuffed animal,
    a couple plants,
    but it will never be home,
    the jade and cactus
    keep dying,
    and the fluorescent lighting
    is slowly giving me
    the complexion
    of a sick lizard.
    A friend of mine
    suggested I get a goldfish
    or a gerbil,
    a small pet
    to liven up my cube,
    but I can’t.
    Just the idea
    of putting an animal
    in a small bowl or cage
    strictly for my amusement
    feels cruel,
    sadistic and wrong,
    and a bit too much
    like management.

  190. TomNeal says:

    Sacred and Profane

    A tourist stands upon a mark of shame
    Placed where Mary’s flame turned goodmen into ash,
    And busloads of visitors now leave their trash,
    And I do mourn this double bane.

    On this spot Latimer and Ridley stood
    Condemned to burn- Queen Mary’s pleasure,
    It required human sacrifice, a measure
    Hard to comprehend, the mixing of men and wood
    To fire the faith, and teach peace and love.

    This sermon in fire not sent from above,
    A lesson in right divine theology,
    Scorched the stone wall of Balliol College,
    And branded said martyrs with the mark of Beelzebub.

    ‘Be of good comfort, and play the man,’ said
    Latimer to Ridley as there they burned,
    And the tourist expresses his concern
    By covering this place of martyred dead
    With papers provided by Burger King.

  191. mbramucci says:

    A Dream Built for Darling
    By: Michelle Bramucci

    It’s 1985
    A cul-de-sac nestled
    In deep green woods
    Resting by reservoir
    Cedar shake tri-story
    With enormous windows
    Decadent, Contemporary
    A Frank Lloyd Wright dream of
    Modern Architecture
    Oozing passion, romance
    Extravagance-every angle executed with elegance
    Grace-resting seamlessly within a natural surround
    The portico, slick terracotta tiles cool underfoot
    Cylindrical sunroom-cream walls
    Big, warm, wooden double doors
    Spiral staircase in a massive foyer
    Cream and brown
    Grey stone
    Grass wallpaper
    Warm, champagne glow of crystal chandelier
    Skylights and plush white carpet
    Burnt-orange Formica countertops
    Semi-lune breakfast nook
    Overlook silky green shadows
    Through enormous windows
    Cigar smoke and bourbon
    Chanel No. 5 and lavender sachet
    Sun diffused boxwood
    Wet earth and gravel
    The gut to spine chill of a song’s melodic hook
    A perfect backdrop for a vivid imagination

  192. RuthieShev says:

    I just want to say first how much I am enjoying the PAD. I have never done one before and I find it a great outlet for me. Thanks. Now for my poem:

    Sunshine and Peace

    Laying on the creek bank with my eyes half closed
    Watching the pole for movement to let me know
    That a fish is dangling on the end of the line.
    Pulling but hopefully not twisting my twine.
    The sun is so warm as it rests on my cheeks
    I can sort of see the blue sky soft and sheek
    I steal a glance at my pole which is oh so still
    Before I lay back down on the side of the hill
    Loving every moment of this beautiful day
    I run my hands over and feel the soft red clay.
    The peace is so soothing, I feel so free
    Only to be jarred awake by a noise from the tv
    Opening my eyes I couldn’t help but wonder why
    The tv was here with me under the sky.
    Then I looked out the window and frowned with dismay
    There was still ice and snow outside this cold winter day.

  193. MY LIBRARY

    There is nary a space in this place
    that doesn’t possess a book, a tape, an album,
    or a DVD. Were it up to me, you would see
    my life cataloged much like my movies
    and records, all in accordance with
    alphabetic law. It’s my flaw to which
    I’ll admit, and given the chance I will add to it.
    This mass of media, my personal library,
    If I really get serious, this thing will get scary.

  194. rachelgrace says:

    in the light of the sun

    The sun crashed down on my surroundings
    Gleaming off of chrome
    Blinded by words echoing light
    I turned toward the sky
    Seeing pink and red
    Closing eyelids I heard the sky and its music
    Birds floated far above me
    They left me still in the light
    To interpret the words of that gleam from chrome

  195. Eibhlin says:

    LOCATION INTERNET

    Waves bend
    and fracture me
    into my online
    identities. Here
    I am a wannabe
    poet from Ireland.
    There I am a gentle
    knitter of baby clothes
    in Wales. Elsewhere
    I am a harsh critic of
    left-wing articles
    in a British daily
    newspaper. I may
    or may not be a boy
    on soft porn sites,
    a birdwatcher in Canada,
    or a poster of urban photos
    in New Zealand.
    My spreadsheet of screen names
    is an Excellent afternoon’s work.
    I am more than the sum of my places,
    but all my places shape
    who I am. I can bilocate, trilocate,
    new tab and relocate.
    I love this space, this place,
    dislocation.

  196. mzanemcclellan says:

    A Day In Sea Cliff

    ~
    A wonderful town I lived in,
    peaceful and Rockwellian.
    Backyard apple orchards, grapevines,
    sassafras grew by the roadside.
    ~
    Steep hills, roads and switch back pathways,
    rose upward from the shore to heights,
    lined with flat-topped Victorians.
    Roofs known to all, as Widow’s Watch.
    ~
    The quaint town was also haunted
    by the spirits of family,
    to pace forever on rooftops,
    faint eyes riveted on the sea.
    ~
    Nightly winds always seemed to sough
    through skeletal dogwood branches.
    Moon cast shadows in my bedroom
    that loomed large in my sleepy mind.
    ~
    I woke to a foggy morning
    peered intently through the gray mists,
    grateful there was nothing to see,
    but the literal early birds.
    ~
    Any given day in Sea Cliff
    I could sit down by Scudder’s Pond,
    listen to the choral bullfrogs
    prognosticating and courting.
    ~
    The Mallards witnessed, from their nests
    hidden in the fetid marsh mud,
    my invasion of their haven,
    loudly squawking their displeasure.
    ~
    I’d run across to Tappen’s beach.
    to watch horseshoe crabs piggyback.
    Swim in the calm inlet waters,
    then march home soggy, soaked in brine.

    ***
    ~ M. Zane McClellan
    ***

  197. Clae says:

    Plans

    I choose locations
    for exotic vacations
    I might never take

    T. S. Gray

  198. ONE MAN’S ISLAND

                                       They              say               no
                                  man is an          island,       and that fact
                          is quite true. You     could live your life in silence, hear-
                 ing you and only you. You would isolate from violence, and think
           you had a coup. Before you cue the violins I have some news for you.
           You could       escape          within your         mind, to places far and near,
              And if           you          do this     you              will find      you get    away
                                                         from here.
                                                      “Head off”
                                                        to some ex-
                                                     otic clime, a
                                                   place that you
                                               hold dear. Sit on
                                               the shore and
                                             write your rhyme,
                                           your purpose will
                                        be clear. My “island”
                                      is this place for one
                                   where all my voices
                               speak, It’s my escape
                            to have some fun, and
                          find the peace I seek. Set
              your sails and follow the sun, and give your
         muse a tweak. You’ll be surprised when you are done, your work will be unique.

  199. Rotation Reversed

    Five feathers fall (From the frantic fail)
    (Freezing frightened force)
    (Front the foolish face)
    Entranced by early eves (Eager to end)
    (Escaping everyday)
    (Eroding elemental)
    Drowning darker days (Driven dire dreams)
    (Diluted drinking dives)
    (Deluded deadly drama)
    Creating crisper calls (Crystal killing cries)
    (Crazy cooling catch)
    (Corrosive comical cages)
    Bridging bellowed bites (Broken bawling brides)
    (Bridging borrowed bile)
    (Belaying basking bait)
    Arriving always around (Appearing atrophy-aged)
    (Aboard abounding eights)
    (Always asking of art)

  200. “Home”

    It’s the harp under the willows
    and the song of the bullfrogs.
    It’s the fairy tales I read
    to the darlings each night.
    It’s the skinned knees, the
    the burnt bagels, and the ants
    marching two-by-two.
    It’s the kitten on my pillow
    and the naive goldfish in the bowl.
    It’s the frosting on my lips
    from another birthday and
    the hot coffee warming my
    hands while we’re gazing
    at the stars.

  201. HoskingPoet says:

    Experience life
    Travel across the ocean
    Check off bucket list
    Don’t grow old sitting at home
    Wear sunscreen without regret

    http://vhosking.wordpress.com/2014/04/23/napowrimo-day-twenty-three-phonetic-translation/

  202. Lori DeSanti says:

    Instilled

    I know you were once a part
    of me, nesting inside my bones
    I found you; curled like a white
    horn fused to me from the inside.

    How else could you have known
    that I was brittle? That I was milk-
    white and hollow and I needed
    someone to save me? When I

    was broken, you poured from
    my being like you had always
    been there, holding me together
    but knowing I would fall apart,

    splinter into pieces like a china
    cup, reduce down to sand, but
    you soldered me whole again;
    not because I would’ve turned

    back into grain, no— because
    saving me meant saving you.

  203. jakkels says:

    A scene

    Translucently emerald green 

    Each short blade a perfection of grass 

    A sea of life drinking in the sunlight.

    Lapping against the cold kerb stones, 

    Like life testing restrictions.

    The winding grey road beyond,

    hot like a basking reptile, 

    Undulating towards the shaded parking. 

    Accross the road and another green sea, 

    a small brook practices music, 

    down its rocky course.

    Finches fight over forgotten sandwiches, 

    a feast on a green tabletopp.

    In the dappled shade of the tree crowned parking, 

    swallows weave in  effortless dance. 

    The open box of a painted parking, 

    holds a familiar car 

    And across the bushes, where a path starts, 

    strings a startling yellow tape 

    Barring the way to the clearing beyond, 

    Where a broken body lies in bloody disarray.  

  204. lidywilks says:

    Dearest Bard of Avon

    Four hundred and fifty years tears us apart,
    to be connected within your pages
    painting the very essence of your heart.
    My love for you cannot be assuaged.
    People will think I’m mad but I don’t care.
    No matter what’s said, I will come to you,
    toiling beside you and your London air,
    penning plays and sonnets you can’t subdue.
    How is it you’re able to sprout such words
    That pierces us to death yet gives us life?
    Will there come a day when I’ll have two-thirds
    of my idol’s talent or must I strive
    instead to be the fly on your mind’s wall?
    Or would you think I have too much gall?

    by Lidy Wilks

  205. Patricia A. Hawkenson’s Day 23 Location poem

    Sunblocked

    Slathered on,
    layered on the
    darkness
    of the day before,
    depression
    walks in your skin
    till every gentle
    touch of kindness
    burns
    with the pain
    of seeing hope
    drift away
    leaving an ocean
    of tears
    to drown
    everyone
    who cried
    to save you.

  206. k_weber says:

    you are here or there

    i once knew a man
    with no shoes
    until i had no feet
    and then he left me
    because of the constant
    blood puddle

    but at least i left
    no footprints and no one
    had to carry me across
    a sweaty, sandy
    mid-morning while wearing
    robes which seems dangerous

    you could fall and then
    who would provide loaves
    and fishes for a day
    that you could eat and stuff
    into your linted, lenten pocket
    to stink forever and teach this smell

    i tried nine stitches across
    my stumps but it didn’t save any
    time any more than waxed floss
    and please don’t tell anyone
    i’ve never spoken
    true, truer or truest words

    i really need a horse
    to bring me a few nice gifts
    that haven’t been inside
    its mouth and i want to look
    around and ride that leather
    somewhere out of this day

    all i want is hot
    stones on my lower back
    while my legs dream of the feet
    that were severed in a house of glass
    shards thrown everywhere but once
    was filled with idioms and idiots

    - k weber

  207. DCR1986 says:

    When? Where? Why?

    Pacific time.
    Zone A, Seat 7D.
    For a cup of jazz
    and poetry in motion.

    —Danielle C. Robinson

  208. feywriter says:

    Sanctuary

    The world can be a crazy place,
    big crowds may be ordinary
    but make me crave some breathing space
    to sit beneath my willow tree.

    Escape is not one time of year,
    the brisk air of February
    means many layers of cashmere
    to sit beneath my willow tree.

    Don’t think me lonely under here,
    my daydreams are legendary;
    dragons, fairies, and elves appear
    to sit beneath my willow tree.

    If you’re ever feeling slighted,
    in need of a sanctuary,
    know you are always invited
    to sit beneath my willow tree.

    by Mary W. Jensen

  209. lionetravail says:

    “The Overpass”
    by David M. Hoenig

    I see the place under the bridge, grave
    of cardboard, newspaper, glass, paper cup,
    where a troll could hide, and say:
    “I’m coming to gobble you up!”

    Only now someone’s tidied the spot
    by removing debris and making a pile
    of something. With traffic, speed, whatnot,
    I can’t make much of what’s the style

    of what’s there. Later, after work
    on migration home, I slow to check
    and see what’s there, and by quirk
    of traffic, I stop. I see head and neck

    of a young girl, maybe ten,
    who’s smiling, white teeth in black
    face. She’s lovely, with a golden
    bow, but she’s trapped in a plaque

    that’s resistant to wear and tear.
    I’m honked awake- I have to move,
    but part of me stays there,
    under the bridge, wondering if it’d behoove

    me going back to better understand.
    But it’s a shrine, of course: they crop
    up here and there, wherever there’s land
    for someone needing room to prop

    up their pain. Under that bridge, someone
    needed a place to express their hurt
    in a public way. And suddenly, I’m undone,
    crying as my own tears fall and desert

    my eyes, thinking about my own lost.
    Driving home through blurry ways,
    my thoughts feel like they’ve been tossed
    around and scattered. Navigating maze

    home, I realize that I’ve got my own shrine
    set up inside, and it comforts my soul;
    under the overpass of the divine
    where my memories keep you whole.

  210. grcran says:

    Port O’Connor

    The town at the end of the road
    Where the silt meets the sand of the bay
    Folks go there attracted by fishing
    Lured in by the siren of sea
    No traffic light. Yes! No McDonalds.
    One store and four bait shops do vend
    No building code: potpourri houses
    Painted in pastel pastiche
    Wind blowing in from the southeast
    Bringing the salt and the spray
    End of the road when you go there
    Bemused by the measure of peace

    by gpr crane

  211. dixonlm2 says:

    The Library
    The library is such a wonderful place,
    One can visit regardless, of case.

    Whether simply looking for a good read,
    The printed word can plant a valued seed.

    Then there is the Internet wait line,
    For researchers or jobseekers in a bind.

    Vast spaces for simple quiet peace.
    Troubling, conflicting thoughts can cease.

    The library – a place open to all,
    Doesn’t matter if one is short or tall.

    Keep the library! It is such a sacred space,
    Which meets many needs, no matter the taste.

    Lynn M. Dixon
    4-23-14

  212. LizMac says:

    Saint Paul de Vence

    From a distance,
    Cobbled car-less streets curve spirally round
    The medieval hill city towards the capstone church
    Standing proudly on its peak.
    A bubble of forgotten beauty floating outside of time,
    Still inaccessible to the stressed-out atrocity of a modern world
    That lies, insatiable, waiting outside walls,
    Biding its time with surprising patience,
    Intelligent, ancient malice.

    Inside, this unheeding world wakes quietly to rosy skies and the
    Drifting fragrance of new-baked breakfast croissants
    Swirling through the morning air from the already-busy boulangerie.
    Even now, children gather round flowered fountains in squares
    Splashing forth the same song of a thousand years
    That tells of childish outrage and giggling delight,
    And games snatched through instinct
    From the ether by every generation.
    Soon the sun rises high over azure seas
    That seep into fresh-washed skies vibrant with
    Relaxed warmth and expectation of a day driven
    In varied, inscrutable directions.

    Afternoon retreats to inner courtyards
    Graced with crimson and gold splashes of floral offerings
    To find relief and drink deeply the green cool and stone silence,
    Reverent refuge from the hidden day
    Inside a hidden world.

    Towards twilight, shadows creep peacefully from gilded tombstones
    Across shy, nodding flowers dazed by the day,
    Reaching out to bravely touch the distant panorama.
    Here, souls lie in peace
    Wrapped safely in the presence of the brooding church
    And cradled in the whispering stillness of ancient evergreens
    That have wept softly and sweetly over every age.

    Here too, I wish one day to rest,
    Absorbed by numinous peace,
    Cradled by whispered longings
    Lying outside of time,
    Chanting patiently the hope of eternity’s promise.

  213. elishevasmom says:

    Doppelganger

    When I was made, they broke the mold,
    at least this is what I was always told.

    So how could someone else, in some other place
    have my shape of head, my hair, my face?

    In concept, what a way to skip through life.
    In finding a situation rife with stripe,

    I could shrug and simply walk away.
    And looking over my shoulder could say,

    “This isn’t the real me, but in fact a kin.
    For you are seeing my evil twin.”

    Yet what makes me uniquely me
    is my special personality,
    my willingness to take responsibility.

    So how about people who say they’ve seen
    me in cities and countries that I’ve never been?

    I guess I’ve got one of those common faces
    that can commonly end up in all kinds of places.

    And as long that evil twin stays under wraps
    I’ll have no worries from INTERPOL’s traps.

    Ellen Evans

  214. DanielAri says:

    “A sweet boy, though certainly no Romeo”

       —as Judy C.

    Advantages to living on a thoroughfare:
    1. You never have to make a map. 2. You can
    always entertain guests just be taking them for
    a walk through your own famous neighborhood. 3. When
    he comes over, you can talk about the street fair.

    Disadvantages: Parking is the biggest one.
    You agreed on eight-ish and it’s past nine. He could
    be circling the blocks, or he might have forgotten
    or decided to do something else. But wouldn’t
    he call? I wonder if I should light the fireplace.

    At last! He comes in, skin flushed, bringing me a good
    apology for his adventures in parking.
    My roommate left a half bottle of Ravenswood.
    We work on that, talking about the fair, talking
    as his flush actually deepens. Though I didn’t

    light the fire, he says he’s hot and starts removing
    layers. Suddenly the scientist, I’m watching.

    DA

  215. shellaysm says:

    Where Sand and Surf Meet

    The beach: nature’s padded welcome mat
    a familiar soft spot to land bare toes
    cooled in the morn and evening
    warmed under heat of day

    The ocean: sea life’s globally connected womb
    it’s tide pulls us in again and again to play
    the inner energy like a bubbling bath
    heals wounds of body and soul

    Is it any wonder
    the two wonders meet
    seamlessly side-by-side
    this pairing of brilliant design

    Kids of every language build castles
    and jump in the waves the same
    while adults sun worship in tranquil
    our universal home away from home

    No matter the map’s location
    a worldly flair we share
    a same returning connection
    to the water and to the sand

    Michele K. Smith

  216. candy says:

    Hush, Hush

    Let’s travel to the
    land of Nod where all our dreams
    will become real

  217. Tracy Davidson says:

    Nantucket Haiku

    Nantucket Island
    golden swathes of daffodils
    heralding the spring

    long lazy summers
    sunbathers on the north shore
    surfers on the south

    deep crimson carpets
    of red maple leaves in fall
    Madaket sunsets

    Winter’s Christmas joy
    islanders and tourists stroll
    white cobblestoned streets

    the locals all know
    heaven is a place on earth…
    Nantucket Island

  218. Tracy Davidson says:

    Lady in the Launderette

    She folds her clothes just so,
    like they used to do in Benetton
    in that neat square fashion
    you could never hope to recreate
    after unfolding.

    Bored kids used to go in
    just to unfold all the jumpers,
    uncaring that the poor assistant
    had other things to do. I firmly deny
    being one of them.

  219. Dan Collins says:

    Day 23:

    広島層ケーキ

    A layer of grass
    rests on crazed clay from August,
    6th – inches below

    .

  220. Patricia A. Hawkenson’s a Day 23 Location poem

    Like the Plague

    It started up front
    where everyone
    could touch it,
    and then pushed it back
    where it decayed,
    transformed,
    until an unsuspecting
    victim
    in spastic gagging
    was unable to recognize
    what died
    in there
    and foolishly
    exposed us
    to the airborne
    death
    of the fridge.

  221. beachanny says:

    Anywhere At All

    Bus horns, cars blast past
    Small trees, tall fences quiet
    A city, New York?

    Wet crape myrtle blooms
    Crimped lace through the back window
    Serene orient

    Gray silk afternoons
    Parisian cats slink in shadows
    Impressions linger.

    The Arch testifies
    History lives in cool walls
    Roman holidays.

    Postcards from the Nile
    Cat goddess Bastet suggests
    Sultry mystery.

    Oven sent fragrance
    Winter baked sweet with warmth
    Viennese delights.

    Dappled giraffe waits
    On the coffee table plain
    African retreat.

    Bauhaus, forties sounds.
    Daylight outlines nouveau curves
    Filters time through slats.

    Measured by spoonfuls
    These days we dwell in Dallas
    Worlds swirl in daydreams.

  222. jean says:

    Nestled in behind the sofa
    I sit and sigh for a moment
    I’m not lazy nor a loafer
    Just letting all ideas foment
    Coalesce and recombine
    Give me space and give me time

    The fabric here is yet unfaded
    Hidden as it is from sun
    A tack is missing, lost unaided
    Swept away by cleaning done
    My finger finds a tiny tear
    No one will ever see it there

    How many flaws are cached aquiet
    By a simple circumstance?
    I lightly tap the tauntness by it
    And feel a healing now advance
    My flaws are not for all to see,
    Their significance — twixt God and me

  223. Azma says:

    HEART DISLOCATED

    My heart travels places
    and stays where it wishes
    Sometimes goes up my throat
    and takes time to unload
    Towards others hearts it eases
    and protected from tearing to pieces
    I sometimes search for it
    and find it trembling in a pit
    I then lift it with a heave
    and leave it in my sleeve

    -Azma Sheikh

  224. Debbie says:

    YOSEMITE’S GATE

    Capturing the gifts,
    loud silence pierces
    Mother’s creation
    of His earthly wishes.

    Atop the throne of his territory
    Half Dome sits proud
    Controlling the rights
    that nature has vowed.

    In honor of their being
    peaked trees stand guard
    Justifying the fact
    that turbulence is barred.

    Mirroring the mountain
    tranquil is the Merced
    Who comforts the beauty
    of earth on its bed.

    Snow ices the cake,
    untouched where it lays,
    Of the natural surroundings
    man is yearning to gaze.

    The acres are priceless,
    majestic, and so
    Truly worth of being
    a heaven below.

  225. shelaghart says:

    Mystical Life

    I take flight in fancy
    Irridiscent wings shining bright
    ‘Neath a clear azure sky
    All is well, all is right

  226. shelaghart says:

    Spiritual Hearing

    In whispering winds
    In roaring seas, I hear
    The Universe speak

  227. De Jackson says:

    27 Down

    13 across was easy enough, that guy
    who played Kojak, and 5 down didn’t
    give me any trouble, either, because
    I just watched the movie Contact. But
    then 27 down was the name of that
    song, sitting there all innocent with a
    blank in it, like maybe I’ve never heard
    it, like maybe you didn’t wear the blue
    Henley that night and maybe I didn’t
    somehow smile at you just right and
    maybe we didn’t draw together like two
    magnets straight out of G’s Physics
    class. And so then maybe you didn’t
    reach up and brush my hair back be
    -hind my ear, and maybe I didn’t sigh
    and the song didn’t say the words my
    heart was screaming again and again
    in my crazy rattled chest even though
    I tried to tell it to shut the hell up and
    behave. Maybe I didn’t save the next
    dance and the next and the next for you,
    and then the last one, too, even though
    by then you’d moved on to Darcy Rollins
    who let’s face it, knew how to push
    things up where they belong. And maybe
    I didn’t long or pine or cry or pen ridic
    -ulous lyrics in margins for weeks to
    come, or wonder if I’d just been dumb
    to think you’d ever want to dance with
    me in the first place. And maybe I can
    just erase 27 down, and good old sweet
    16, too, get on with the rest of this dumb
    puzzle. Or maybe I’ll take up Sudoku.

    .

  228. elledoubleyoo says:

    Lacustrine

    Like Yeats, I hear lake water lapping at my heart’s core;
    moss-green smell of freshwater, carried on linnet wings,

    permeates this landscape of stucco and asphalt.
    In my suburban city, promises of peace

    reflect data from city planners and police,
    not the slow-dropping peace Yeats and I once knew.

  229. DESOLATION NATION

    Peering out the window opening; leering
    at the vastness of a vacuous void,
    there are no life forms appearing
    and I feel a bit annoyed.

    Volunteering for a mission
    is just another way of saying
    I give you my permission
    to be used as you see fit. Playing

    hero (when martyr would suffice nicely)
    and I know to get back from this place
    I will need to get out of this space, precisely
    what I did NOT want to do. In case

    you aren’t listening, the sounds around
    are vacant. In space no one can hear you
    scream for Ice Cream (no matter how big the mound),
    it would melt before the spoon got near you.

    So, I don my suit, untried; untested,
    and strap my boots to seal my feet,
    If I wore this at home, I’d be arrested
    but, on this planet, it can’t be beat.

    I press the button to raise the panel
    and nothing appears to transpire.
    I press it again on this stupid panel
    with no result but to fan my ire.

    I need release, my mission is clear,
    I need to step down to step on the soil,
    I haven’t a clue how to get out of here
    despite my training and years of toil.

    I pound on the door with furious fists,
    yelling at the intercom transmitter,
    but this innocuous box, it surely resists,
    frustrated am I, but I’m no quitter.

    “Open the pod bay doors, Hal!” I scream,
    but the response, it does not save me.
    “I’m afraid that I can’t do that, Dave!” it seems
    this spaceship has enslaved me.

    I have no qualms about dying in space,
    though this isolation is truly scary,
    Besides, its memory is a disgrace,
    I’m so screwed. I’m not Dave. I’m Larry!

  230. Joseph Hesch says:

    You Are Here

    You are here. And so am I. I’m glad
    you could find me amid all the chaos.
    How’d I find this place? Not easy.
    Started in my dark bedroom this morning
    and bumped into the dresser. I thought
    I was on the trail in the shower,
    but got shampoo in my eyes
    and lost the way. Once I hit the road,
    I thought I’d remember the way,
    as I usually do, but I was distracted
    by two cars trying to occupy
    the same space and time.

    Thought I’d found this spot
    in the parking lot,
    but it was just another slot
    way far from where I knew
    you’d like to sit. In the office?
    Nothing. So I sat down and
    drew this map from foggy memory.
    Slow work when your tired old mind
    has lost its way again.
    But here we are, right where
    I’d hope we’d be. You are here.
    So am I. End of the line.

  231. pmwanken says:

    LOST IN PARANOIA
    (a shadorma)

    In the dark
    place of living in
    shadows, there
    is only
    speculation of truths found
    in the light of day.

  232. Taos, NM

    I’m always telling everyone
    I’ve never been anywhere.
    Now I say Taos is my dream
    travel destination.
    I do not have great reasons.
    They may or may not coincide
    with my suspicions
    that people visit places
    simply to say the name
    again and again.
    Would you tire
    of saying Reykjavík?
    Maybe you are more
    of a Machu Picchu type.
    I myself want to be
    more Saskatchewan
    or Riga, at least
    in some ways. But I know
    as much about these places
    as I do about Issaquah
    and Butte. Or even places
    like Philadelphia
    where I’ve lived
    much of my life.

  233. De Jackson says:

    Echo
    (a Triolet)

    There’s a murmur in her heart,
    but they can’t find it –
    the tissue is too scarred.
    There’s a murmur in her heart
    and once it’s torn apart,
    they’ll try to bind it.
    There’s a murmur in her heart,
    but they can’t find it.

    .

  234. David Walker says:

    Dislocate

    The night I asked you to leave
    your childhood home, your family,
    your two dogs and three cats,
    it must have felt like pulling

    your shoulder out. The
    afternoon we carried your
    clothes, your furniture, your
    knick-knacks with nothing

    but intrinsic value up the small
    staircase, it must have felt like
    a clumsy doctor cramming
    the bone back in the socket.

    And the mornings we’d shower
    together, eat together, drive in
    together, it must have felt like
    he pushed the bone in way too far

    and that you would never settle again.

  235. pomodoro says:

    Desiderio

    All the day I longed for Italia
    remembering the blue green sea.
    I thought if I could purchase
    Parmesiano from the grocery
    or drink Limoncello, tart and cold,
    to cleanse the palate and soothe the throat
    or eat aciuge, salty and bold,
    or read tales of Dante I could quote,
    Ah, then, I’d be in Nervi for sure;
    the olive groves, the vines of grapes
    where on terraced hills a warbler trills.
    But to be in the Italia I know
    Stop’n Shop is not the place to go.

  236. Domino says:

    Worry

    From the deck of a heaving ship
    He prays that his family is safe
    The tempest has him in its grip
    From the deck of a heaving ship
    At home watching the storm as a blip
    She knows where he is (and it chafes)
    On the deck of that heaving ship
    She prays that her husband is safe

    Diana Terrill Clark

  237. ina says:

    The place where the cricket lives — Ina Roy-Faderman

    Sometimes I visit the place where the cricket lives
    along with a lock of hair.
    Three pine trees make a forest
    when the trees are so tall that,
    for all I knew,
    they weren’t green triangles piercing the clouds
    but spires coalescing out of the sky to
    reach down to root in the grass.
    Sometimes the last star of the night
    makes a pink show before the sun rises
    and everything is exposed:
    the elephant is just grey plush,
    Barbie has put aside her astronaut’s gear
    and her feet cannot hold her,
    the old cat won’t get his joy ride
    in the green metal convertible
    until the sun sets again.

  238. Nancy Posey says:

    Didn’t someone (Walt, maybe?) figure out how to indent on here? Does it require much tech savvy?

    • dhaivid3 says:

      I assume it will involve a lot of spacebar clicks
      just so

      and then
      maybe
      so.

      This
      what
      you
      mean?

    • Yes Nancy. However, space bar clicks as dhaivid3 suggested, will not get the desired effect. Under normal circumstances the comment box only recognizes the first space and ignores the rest. You need to “insert” the desired number of spaces to achieve this.

      On a standard 102 key keyboard, the number pad comes into play. For each spaces you need to key
      ALT+0160, releasing between each space. It is labor intensive but worth the effort. I’ve yet to master this on a laptop or my iMac.

  239. modscribery says:

    Day 23: Location poem

    “Caged”

    They gather,
    hundreds each day,
    staring, whispering,
    sometimes shouting.
    I long to be out of their gaze,
    long to break out of this cage
    like a big cat at the zoo
    that huffs,
    startling the bratty kid
    throwing peanuts
    between the bars.

    But I stay at my post –
    a cash register
    the only barrier between me
    and the ogling swarm,
    while the smell of fast food
    wafting from the kitchen behind me,
    drives the animals crazy.

  240. EX MARKS THE SPOT

    She flashed this life briefly
    chiefly to reassure that
    her ability to rebound
    from profound sadness
    would quell the madness
    of his intense expressions.
    Each session of their tryst
    would make her eyes mist over,
    and before she was covered
    in clover, she would know
    where their hearts were buried.
    She remains to be carried
    in the hollow of his chest,
    the best place she could be.
    She possessed it; caressed it,
    claimed it, marking the spot.

    • dhaivid3 says:

      Mix of sad and happy (almost as if in order to retain the happy, he has to endure the sad). Well done.

    • grcran says:

      my guess is that the title indicates she is his ex-wife, am I right?… I enjoyed your rhyming here SO much… as I think of it right now, probably for me this poem exhibits better rhyming than anything Frost wrote (and believe me, I thought very seriously before making that statement)… and I also enjoyed the way that the woman in the poem surrenders to the man, and yet even so, she owns him… very effective, all of it!

      • Sorry grcran, but not an ex-wife. Best case is ex-wife of my life.Her passing has been celebrated here often since 2009. She was a very loving/giving person who does indeed “own” me. Something that doesn’t easily go away. And my flaw is that I like my poems to rhyme, and that internal rhyme adds more power to a poem. (IMO). Thank you for your kind words. I am humbled by them.

    • PressOn says:

      This asks to be read over and over. It carries me along with a force of its own.

  241. arlingtonscribe says:

    Journey’s End

    the system’s been
    malfunctioning awhile
    now, so i must accept
    the inevitable

    being inexorably pulled down
    there’s no escaping
    this impossible force

    must be the end

    coming

    (jettisoned through
    the escape pod)

    blinded by the light
    the sea releases me
    exhumed, i’m washed away
    ripped from silence
    and warmth
    the coziness of
    zero-g replaced with
    the heaviness
    of this new alien
    atmosphere

    noise enwraps me
    in a sonic assault

    shapes swim up
    out of focus
    wobbly strips
    zigzag in random
    patterns

    pushed, prodded
    poked, polished
    as a precious jewel
    wrapped in velvet

    i hear my mother’s voice
    (and turn in that direction)
    the camera of my eyes
    going ECU (extremely
    close-up), so i can see her
    better

    finally, in her arms,
    her kiss, a warm tender
    welcome to an otherwise
    cold world,
    i can go back to sleep
    knowing i’m safe in her arms

    the mission’s complete

  242. Where I Long To Be – Marie H. Fitts

    Wherever You are is where I long to be
    I am nothing without you
    Flesh of flesh bone of bone
    At home in the body
    Is away from You
    But in your presence
    I am complete
    Your Spirit nourishes my soul
    I am light transcending space and time
    Linear
    I exist only to love You
    I reside in You
    Your Spirit in me
    We dwell in The Father
    Yesterday
    Today
    Forever

  243. DanielR says:

    AT GRANDPA’S RIVER HOUSE
    Spanish moss dangled from large oak branches
    like beards hanging from the chins of old men
    the rhythmic rumble of a slow moving car
    crossing over the rusted metal, one-lane bridge
    was all that broke the quiet of early morning
    as I sat on your lap and listened to your stories
    while you drank your coffee on the porch
    that overlooked the gentle flow of the river
    the smell of bacon cascading toward us
    directed our gaze to the kitchen window
    where Granny smiled and waved to us
    in that moment I was too innocent to know
    that forty years hence I had gained a memory

    Daniel Roessler

  244. Anatomy Lesson (Dislocation)

    The volar surface of the radius
    connects the forearm-bone to the wrist.
    Separation from the ulna
    allows twist. Ballast at the flex
    includes triquetrum, scaphoid, lunate.
    Their recitation like a spell does not
    perform as one expects. Your grip
    remains unbroken. Unknown parts
    separate.
    I gamble away carpal tokens
    which you drunkenly rearrange.
    The handbell of the radius
    seems to have been misplaced.
    Agony is strange. All the senses
    wake to tell: whiskey on your breath,
    my naked back, lone night-bird
    singing on the fence.
    A misalignment of the radiolunar joint
    is called a Galeazzi fracture.
    When I hear my own scream echo,
    I know I am here. You seem to
    become water: muddied, drowning,
    then terribly clear.

  245. DamonZ says:

    “In the War”

    In my front view lies a log.
    It’s rotting bark veiled in moss.
    In it’s copious recesses I see a frog.
    Sitting in terror with its front legs crossed.

    All around are biting flies and mosquitos.
    The bugs of the jungle are curious creatures.
    They find every opening of your clothes.
    They can’t wait to explore your body’s features.

    Looking above I can’t really see the sky.
    The canopy obscures my view.
    I’ll do anything to forget the burning in my thighs.
    Insects sting as does the sharp bamboo.

    Shooting stars fly past my face.
    Glowing bright as they look for flesh.
    I can’t walk but gotta get back to base.
    My legs feel like worn, torn mesh.

    I don’t want to die here in this place.
    In this jungle I’ll be eaten alive.
    I can already feel the bugs eating at my face.
    I need to survive.

    The bullets felt hot at first.
    Then the blood felt cold.
    My friends return fire in bursts.
    I can’t see, but I think the enemy is beginning to fold.

    Will I ever walk again?
    Will I ever go home?
    Come and get me then!
    Au revoir, Auf Wiedersehen, goodbye, shalom.

    I can feel my body begin to move.
    Is it my soul moving on?
    I won’t disapprove.
    My blurry eyes are suddenly drawn.
    The caduceus flanked by U.S.
    Stamped on the pack of our medic, Shawn.
    Tugging and dragging me under stress.

    We’re heading back to the landing zone.
    I made it, I’m going home.
    I won’t die here all alone.

    By: Damon Zallar

    • DamonZ says:

      Why does auto “correct” make the contraction instead of the possessive form of the word, it? So annoying!

      • DamonZ says:

        “In the War”

        In my front view lies a log.
        Its rotting bark veiled in moss.
        In its copious recesses I see a frog.
        Sitting in terror with its front legs crossed.

        All around are biting flies and mosquitos.
        The bugs of the jungle are curious creatures.
        They find every opening of your clothes.
        They can’t wait to explore your body’s features.

        Looking above I can’t really see the sky.
        The canopy obscures my view.
        I’ll do anything to forget the burning in my thighs.
        Insects sting as does the sharp bamboo.

        Shooting stars fly past my face.
        Glowing bright as they look for flesh.
        I can’t walk but gotta get back to base.
        My legs feel like worn, torn mesh.

        I don’t want to die here in this place.
        In this jungle I’ll be eaten alive.
        I can already feel the bugs eating at my face.
        I need to survive.

        The bullets felt hot at first.
        Then the blood felt cold.
        My friends return fire in bursts.
        I can’t see, but I think the enemy is beginning to fold.

        Will I ever walk again?
        Will I ever go home?
        Come and get me then!
        Au revoir, Auf Wiedersehen, goodbye, shalom.

        I can feel my body begin to move.
        Is it my soul moving on?
        I won’t disapprove.
        My blurry eyes are suddenly drawn.
        The caduceus flanked by U.S.
        Stamped on the pack of our medic, Shawn.
        Tugging and dragging me under stress.

        We’re heading back to the landing zone.
        I made it, I’m going home.
        I won’t die here all alone.

        By: Damon Zallar

      • Very compelling, auto “correct” or not!

    • PressOn says:

      This is powerful and masterful writing, in my view.

  246. PKP says:

    Looking for home

    From the lamb
    bleating
    in the field
    wandering circles
    to the
    squinted eyes
    staring
    at controls
    as Earth spins below
    in the all in-between
    creatures young, old,
    plaintive, contemplative,
    searching, and even
    those foolishly believing
    they are there
    all are floating
    floating in the
    filament of the
    infinite silken strands
    self constructed paths
    weaving a waving
    tapestry through the
    universal beyond
    dark into light
    light into dark
    floating
    destination
    uknown

  247. Mr. Take The Lead says:

    Deasons
    Daniel R. Simmons
    I remember growing up and rocking that old English D
    As I cheered on the Tigers from Fall to Spring
    I’m sorry I mean from Spring to Fall
    In Detroit we don’t mind the cold at all
    Spending summer nights on the Riverwalk
    Sometimes I wish that the neighborhood girls still played with chalk
    Summers turned campus Martius into to a fountain Spring
    Come winter it’s a skating rink
    Media acting like murder and poverty only exist in the streets of the D.
    The same is true for any other inner city, from La to New Your city
    So why stick up your nose and pick on my city
    Every city has those parts that they’re ashamed to broadcast
    So please stop bashing Detroit on your podcast
    Just like Summer, Fall, Winter, and Spring
    Detroit has gone through many changes
    Look and see
    We’ve gone through the bitter cold
    As the media buries us deep beneath the snow
    We are facing the heat and pressure of bankruptcy
    We Fall back, but now we will Spring forward
    Yes we are moving forward in positive change
    After all nothing ever remains the same
    Every city has its reasons and seasons
    But this is the D call it Deasons

  248. briehuling says:

    April 22, 2014

    Day 22

    Ridgeline

    Here we are again overlooking
    the ricochet of everything below
    against a scraggy mountainside
    on a ideal Monday morning.
    Sweet investigation of birds we can’t
    see without our awkward glasses,
    my curious tourist sharing almonds
    like they’re everyday peanuts
    with a mountain squirrel
    who can probably answer
    the questions I’m too afraid to ask
    in complete sentences. And the
    ferns pulse, lining the sides
    of utterly everything, like
    they’ve quietly listened
    to every secret you’ve ever told.

    Brie Huling

  249. kldsanders says:

    Somebody burned the school down
    on April Fool’s Day.
    I thought my friend was joking
    when she called with the news.
    I scoffed at the preppies
    when they cried over the building.
    Maybe it makes me bad,
    but I really don’t care.
    I was happy to see the halls I feared
    Covered in smoke and ash.

    -Karen Sanders

  250. novacatmando says:

    modern letter poem: 04/23/2014

    09:18
    waited 15 minutes
    hands on the café clock
    mock me at 45 degree angles
    I’m moving on…

    09:43
    goofed
    thought we were meeting at 10
    now idle
    DAMN streetlight!
    on the Loop
    sorry
    maybe we can catch up later

    11:54
    a pyromaniac in a petrified forest
    that’s me – crazy guy – n this job
    need to get out
    lunch at the metro deli?

    11:56
    ooh, I’m at Tawdry Tips
    half-way through a pedicure
    I’ll try to frost n dry quick
    to hobble over…
    paper flip flops — all the rage?

    12:08
    damn
    the architect of decay
    came by my cube
    he’s going to kill
    the stradbury project
    need to stay n campaign
    never mind

    13:25
    ate out of vending machine
    was reliably unsatisfying

    14:03
    hon… you need sunshine
    I ate in the park
    birds are molting
    I picked three feathers
    out of mustard on my veggie burger…

    16:34
    ugh! … is there NO decency in this world?
    just shoved outside Macys
    by some guy as wide as a bulldozer
    I ended up ass down in a mud puddle…

    18:53
    check your pockets for fish

    18:54
    WTH is that supposed to mean…?

    19:07
    means – been at the office too long
    I want to have dinner with you
    but truth is
    it’s easier
    to meet up with a transient

    19:23
    LOL… I’m home now
    drumming to the White Stripes
    on table with chopsticks
    thinking about … General Tso Chicken
    or Mu Gu Gai Pan
    umm… ordering…
    take off that tie n come by

    19:25
    perfect

    19:28
    just got a message from Lisa…
    Gary packed up n moved out
    un-freaking-believable!!!
    stepping over to her place…
    call me when you arrive

    21:46
    you never called… ?

    21:47
    true
    wow almost 10
    I needed
    decompressing
    grabbed a burger on the way home
    old habits die hard

    21:49
    but I ordered those crazy
    chocolate rangoons
    you love so much
    now I have a cold carton
    of Mu Gu Gai Pan …

    22:11
    was hungry for more than that today

  251. barton smock says:

    -jesus off the cross-

    I possess my son to ask into his heart a milkman based on comprehension.

    I am father whose mind drifts for dear life.

    I have a bowl
    for the parts of me
    don’t work. bowl gets full
    I get a dog
    for a day.

    when day is done
    day becomes a meditation
    on dog’s
    whereabouts.

    I obsess to maturity my daughter who is the bliss
    the brainless
    hammer
    finds.

    busy as a blood trail
    it is still my mother
    passing only
    the time

    in violence
    not sudden.

  252. EeLas6678 says:

    Title: One Day Out of the Week

    One day out of the week,
    make the most of it,
    movie, carbs, and sugar water.
    Unfold the futon,
    I fold into you- my safe space,
    the child is at peace… this is good.

    Start to fall asleep,
    Shaken-knocking at the back door.
    I’m not home! I moved; can’t you read the signs?
    We only see each other
    one day out of the week
    Obligation.

    Turn around and hold you,
    eye contact may make you understand,
    only entices.
    My body disappears,
    can’t turn on my turn on,
    depression from your constant pressing on.
    Notice long strands of brown scattered-that is my hair, right?

    Fake it? I’ve done that before,
    I’m quite the actress-you respond well to oohs and ahs
    of your perceived firework display.
    The rocket launch is always painful,
    become frustrated lighting the fuse, but the show must go on.
    Reposition, shove, until you reach the grand finally.
    Leave the safe space,
    Disassociate into outer space,
    Maybe I’ll catch a better view.

    A paper doll,
    folded, twisted, dripping scribbles of ink,
    never the creator-only the receiver of gifts.
    Empty boxes, kidding yourself,
    I’ve written beautiful and scandalous songs with different pens,
    little did you know.

    One day a week turned into proposed eternity,
    agreed to share a space,
    I thought you were going to save me,
    from myself.
    I didn’t need saving…needed savoring.
    But you wanted to chew and swallow to quiet the craving-
    never satisfied.
    Fight-second thoughts,
    make up sex is the cure all,
    I deny you.

    The next morning-a change of heart,
    you think you only left question marks,
    No-scars of trauma.
    Fireworks blew in my face…shattered my identity,
    something I could never predict.
    We made it
    only one day out of the week.

    Time has passed by-needed much more than I thought.
    I’ve grown now,
    construction paper,
    too thick for your thick
    to penetrate without paper cuts.
    Ruminated for a while, but
    now you’re a random thought,
    an old stain on that damn futon,
    can’t say it’s been an empty space,
    but you’ll never know,
    I won’t even give you one day out of the week.

    -Emily Lasinsky

  253. DanielR says:

    THE CORNER TABLE
    A couple at the corner table
    near the back of Vito’s Italian Café
    sit against the backdrop of
    faux painted Tuscan walls
    doing their best imitation of happiness
    the red checkered tablecloths blend
    with the lipstick of her painted on smile
    his caramel eyes are distant as they
    follow the twenty-something waitress
    gliding across the room toward the bar
    when her wine glass is empty
    their love ruse is finally over
    and her eyes are filled with tears
    there will be no tiramisu
    at the corner table.

    Daniel Roessler

  254. ASperryConnors says:

    The wrong place

    home isn’t home
    if the heart
    is not

    hearts nest
    in true friends

    monopoly
    hopscotch
    on a map
    we are drifters
    of the new
    economy
    leaving a
    birthplace
    going where
    the work is
    doesn’t make
    this home

    people differ from
    town to burrow
    county to state
    some friendly
    forthcoming
    sunny places
    some cold
    ill-disposed
    hill-country
    hollers

    this town
    has dutch roots
    rule ridden
    deep in tradition
    friendship forecasts
    frosted manners
    and surly souls
    slamming doors
    on new faces

    if only I could
    blow and scatter
    my neighbors
    to the wind
    so each
    wooden shoe
    could find
    compassion

    walking
    the footsteps
    of a
    newly
    landed
    soul

  255. Connie Inglis says:

    On Locating a Memory

    The photograph with
    curled edges
    calls out to her from
    her long-ago past yet
    she can’t locate
    the memory.

    The photograph of
    pink lacy
    dresses and white
    knee-high socks on
    three young sisters
    with futures.

    The memory is
    lost with
    death snatching two.
    She sits alone
    seeking to find
    connection.

    The photograph with
    the faded images
    reminds her that she
    too will soon
    re-locate and find
    her memory.

  256. “Growing Up in Southboro Park”

    A landmark in my mind, forever there;
    Southboro Park: a place not far from school.
    Forever pasted in my memory’s share.
    I do recall that day I was a fool.

    The end of summer and a picnic planned.
    My dress; a strapless, Lerner’s, stretchy bust.
    My mother warned against such fashion-grand
    for adolescent boys are curious.

    And so we played a reckless game of tag.
    Careening forth, he clutched my frock. I frowned,
    appalled as any queen but there’s no lag
    in laughter as, thread-bare, I tumbled down.

    Oh, vivid still; my rosy cheeks and tears
    amid the jeering pleasure of my peers.

    (anyone remember cotton dresses from the 1940′s purchased at Lerners (a national chain).Top of the dress made like a stretchy stocking so a girl could go ‘strapless’ in the summer. Not a ‘smart’ thing to wear to a teenager’s picnic.)

    )

  257. Of Donne

    The little big island
    so far out in the sea
    is where I go
    when I need
    no locks,
    blinds,
    a cup of tea
    with someone who says
    it feels good
    with a breath of fresh air
    from the world outside.

  258. DanielR says:

    WHERE I GREW UP
    There were no high-rise apartments
    where I grew up in a small town
    with a few traffic lights and a
    couple of Mexican restaurants
    convenience stores and fast-food joints.
    Summers were hot and winters were sparse
    where I grew up in South Texas
    pump jacks from another time
    resembled big metal grasshoppers
    bowing their heads as I drove by
    in my blue pickup truck.
    Friday nights were for football games
    where I grew up in the stadium’s shadow
    the players were gods worshipped
    for their inherited athletic prowess
    while those of us who didn’t play
    were nothing but ignored.
    Pastures of cattle were commonplace
    where I grew up in rural America
    there were no mechanical bulls
    our cowboys were real not imitations
    saddled up on living, breathing horses
    appreciating and respecting the land
    where I grew up.

    Daniel Roessler

  259. Mama Zen says:

    Love Culture

    This is no place for falling out of love.
    Love quotes hang like bunting in the rafters.
    “We loved with a love that was more than love”
    side by side with “happy ever after.”
    Pages of love poems paper the walls.
    “I Loved You First,” “The White Rose,” “Flirtation.”
    Poets scream sonnets in every hall.
    The moon murmurs slick, sweet meditations.
    Throats are foot thick with love songs and lyrics.
    “At Last,” “Crazy,” “I Will Always Love You.”
    Louder, louder to drown out the cynics -
    “Just Like a Woman.” With or Without You.”
    Here, you are either Venus or vulture,
    lip locked deep in a phony love culture.

    Kelli Simpson

  260. elledoubleyoo says:

    Between

    The spaces between intrigue me,
    mythical Scylla and Charybdis,
    proverbial rock and a hard place,

    or less obvious…

    the moment before I saw you,
    unaware I stood on a threshold
    of understanding what it means to love,

    and still so many months away
    from knowing, truly,
    what it means to break.

  261. candy says:

    Morning’s Glory

    sunrise was coloring the morning
    as I walked along the trail
    a figure peddled toward me
    helmeted head bent down
    legs pumping
    did he see the thistle blooming
    someone jogged by in chartreuse spandex
    iPod clipped to her shirt
    ears plugged with music
    can she hear the chickadee sing
    a woman passed me easily
    arms held high clutching weights
    power walking I suppose
    does she feel the whispered breeze
    I stroll on down the trail
    and nourish my body and my soul

  262. candy says:

    Follow Me 2 A reVison

    Follow me to Xanadu –
    we’ll search the Cane Palace
    where gilded dragons guard the Kahn

    Follow me to Oz –
    along the yellow road together
    we’ll uncover the secret of the Wizard

    Follow me to Elsinore –
    to tread the path of a tragic prince
    and wait the night for Hamlet’s ghost

    Follow me among the stacks –
    the world awaiting us
    in a book

    Follow me
    Follow me

  263. Roderick Bates says:

    Where It’s At

    by Roderick Bates

    The Earth rotates daily as it travels a 585 million mile loop around the Sun, one star toward the outer end of one pinwheel arm of the Milky Way Galaxy, which turns lazily as it moves toward eventual collision with the Andromeda Galaxy, all of this going on in an ever-expanding universe.

    I live on 9 acres, up a longish dirt road, outside a village of 830 people, in a rural county in Vermont, and I fret about my boundary with my neighbor to the northeast, which makes about as much a sense as if I were a tick feeling territorial about one patch of skin on the neck of a moose as it crashes through cedars on its way to a particular bog.

  264. RebekahJ says:

    Bubble Bath

    If the house won’t sell
    Know millions share your quandary
    Nice place; overpriced

    Kimberly Gladman Jackson

  265. Monique says:

    Airport-A Cinquain

    Airport
    Endless long lines
    Endless waiting around
    Check in baggage, find gate, board plane
    Depart

  266. Snow Write says:

    PROMISES
    You have said you would go
    To the ends of the earth
    To fulfill all the dreams
    Of the one you adore.
    That must be the only
    Location you’d go to
    Since you are not willing
    To meet in the middle.

  267. annell says:

    This Place
    The place of my past
    The place of my presence
    Are connected only by my person
    Yes, I was there
    And I am the one who is here

    It is said…
    You can’t go home again
    It was true for me
    If you attempt to return
    To your former home
    You will find no one there
    Nothing is the same
    The children have grown
    The dog died
    You have moved on

    Always in the process of
    Creating a new home
    In the now it will always be
    The home of an older person
    Meeting the needs of an older person
    You focus will always be so
    Like the hermit crab
    The old shell no longer fits

    Each unique step of the way
    Is similar to the one before
    But never identical
    Each day a new season
    A new day

  268. lina says:

    Crossing the GW at Night

    We drove into the gateway,
    steel arches rising like a promise.
    The red taillights lured us
    like flies into a flame
    while the white headlights
    made it impossible
    to turn around.
    Then there was the river,
    ink black and cold,
    pulling us in if we let it,
    moving slowly to the sea.
    In the back of station wagon,
    I crossed myself three times,
    trying not to look down.

  269. creilley says:

    STOPPING BY THE OLD HOUSE

    I stand in the driveway
    marveling how small the house really is,
    how tiny the garage
    which was sailing ship,
    fortress, and dungeon
    back in my day.

    A brief detour on my way home
    from a sales trip
    brought me within 5 miles
    of my origins,
    So here I am.

    I find the meadow anxious
    with grasshoppers and heat shimmer
    and knew I was home.

    There was the set of steps
    where I required seventeen stitches,
    back there the pine tree
    I was afraid to climb down
    for two solid days.

    The first house I had ever known –
    the back stairs that led to our room,
    the dining room where the poodle -
    in an epileptic frenzy -
    smashed himself to death,
    the garden room closed off
    and only accessible
    if you pull out the refrigerator
    to get something out of storage,
    and even the cedar room
    in the center of the attic,
    the source of much fantastical terror.

    I sit on the stoop,
    soaking up sunlight
    like I did when I was ten
    and I can hear my mother’s voice
    calling my name.

    Supper must be ready.

    • PressOn says:

      This reminds me of Mark Twain and his visit to his old home in Hannibal, and remarking that if he came back in another ten years, it’d be the size of a birdhouse. I love this piece.

  270. Geysers

    Earth breathes
    Exhaling steamy breath
    Strangers stop and stare

  271. Jesus is Like…

    Alaska
    Wide open, welcoming
    A refuge, an adventure, a call

    Washington
    Freely flowing water
    Offering abundant spring-like life

    Florida
    A sunny state midst growth
    Strength and help in raging hurricanes

    Hawaii
    Fine fragrance, graciousness
    Lavish, verdant beauty, joy and love

  272. candy says:

    Follow Me

    Follow me to Xanadu –
    we’ll search the Cane Palace
    where gilded dragons guard the Kahn

    Follow me to Oz –
    along the yellow road together
    we’ll uncover the secret of the Wizard

    Follow me to Elsinore –
    to tread the path of a tragic prince
    and wait the night for Hamlet’s ghost

    Follow me to Heaven –
    paradise awaiting us
    in an embrace

    Follow me
    Follow me

  273. Where I Grew Up

    In a shaded P-A valley
    a house’s ghost haunts
    where a young couple,
    fresh after WWII,
    raised five girls.

    Rabbits, deer,
    bobcats, bear
    wander through,
    unafraid of the hunter
    who once lived there.

  274. lily black says:

    Location is Everything

    Oh no! Late again!
    St. Anthony hear my plea…
    Help me find my keys!

  275. dawnssong4u says:

    Montana
     
    I want to dare that haunted hallowed land
    Lay ear to ground and hear the memories that still reverberate through that earth
    Walk bare-footed through that forest floor and whisper to that untainted plain
    “you’re still free, you’re still free”
    I want to dance as the Indians danced
    Without reserve
    Before they knew “reservation”
    Before they knew evil
    I want to breathe air unfiltered by human congestion
    View a skyline formed of snow capped mountains only
    Hear the world as it sounds
    The way it should sound
    Without the cacophony of man made madness
    Let God speak hear
    In beautiful whispers
    And in thunderous exclamation
    I come to you in spirit only
    I come to you always
    For peace is found in knowing
          “you are there”
    Still………
    You are there
     
    dawn bigelow

    dawn bigelow aka dawnssong4u

  276. TASTE OF HISTORY

    I’m in the garden – I don’t mean Eden,
    where everything grew weedless without work.
    This is my new garden, down in the east
    pasture where our beloved oaks
    don’t throw a shadow over tomatoes, chili
    peppers, squash – the pasture we reclaimed
    from turkey-mullein and star-thistle.
    It needs a lot of nurturing, with compost
    and shovel. Here’s a young bull-thistle rooted
    among the new tomato sets. I wrestle it out
    and throw it over the fence for our sheep
    to find. In Eden, sheep would have starved
    for thistle. In its place, an earthworm, garden-
    friend of the nether regions.
    Outside the gate, my dog has found a bone,
    or maybe dug it up in her explorations
    of soil. Longbone, deer who lived here before
    the thought of man. On our coyote-
    patrols at dawn, I find deer bones surfacing
    among rimrock along the dry creekbed.
    My dog is making a quiet study of this bone,
    holding it gently between her paws,
    testing its age and texture, its history.
    Its aftertaste of marrow mixed with earth.
    She’s young. She doesn’t feel how it tugs at her
    to root into soil, become part of this place.

  277. Sharon Ann says:

    On Location

    She arrived at the restaurant
    hair done, makeup just right.
    The photographer said he would arrive
    at 5:45 – she was nervous.
    She sat at the table by the window
    and stroked at the few stray hairs
    that had fallen on her face.
    She breathed in and leaned back.
    As she did there he was.
    He was exquisite in his good looks.
    Chiseled face. Iconic eyes.
    He smiled just slightly as
    he shook her hand gently.
    He held it a moment too long.
    She blushed and looked down demurely.
    He sat her again at the table and from nowhere
    someone arrived to arrange the flowers and her cup.
    Shots looking up,
    shots looking left,
    frowning,
    pouting,
    half smiling,
    full smile.
    Rearrange the table.
    Shots looking up,
    shots looking left,
    frowning,
    pouting,
    half smiling,
    full smile.
    Break.
    A shared cappuccino.
    Tender moments in the sun.
    He held her hand again gently.

  278. dhaivid3 says:

    Poem title: Life is a Delight

    Strangers hurry by
    Rushing off to work.
    Little Johnny cries
    While the tick, tock clock
    Chimes the time as Three
    And little girls with glee
    Run around the block.
    Mamas lift the lid
    Little mouths to feed
    Fathers till the soil -
    Part of daily toil.

    What a wondrous sight
    Life is a delight
    Rush from morning light
    Until the last goodnight.

    Goodnight.

  279. laurie kolp says:

    The Forest

    Breathe in
    all luminous
    chills you feel,
    respect life’s
    facets, gems
    before your eyes,
    nature’s keen
    observances
    reflected upon
    a winding path.

    Breathe out
    any ominous
    dread you feel,
    weighted worries
    of the world,
    fear carried
    senselessly;
    all you need
    is to let go
    and breathe.

  280. laurie kolp says:

    The Cottage

    A quaint ambiance
    welcomes weary ones–
    maple embers crackle

    at the hearth. The heart,
    opening to forgiveness,
    awakens quelled yens

    as red and yellow tulips
    reach for the sky,
    friendships reunite.

  281. LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION

    Three little words spell the difference
    between a pleasant residence,
    and a money-sucking bloody hell hole.
    Selling your soul to a realtor
    for a good school district
    and off-street parking is a stark revelation.
    For as in any situation, it comes down
    to those three little words that say so much:
    “Location, Location, Location!”

  282. KITCHEN TABLE, 6:24 A.M.

    Coffee cooling.
    I’m fooling myself thinking I’m glad
    to be alive on such a gloomy morning.
    Storm warnings and charcoal
    to partly grey clouds, for crying out loud.
    This is depressing.
    I’m guessing I should get ready
    to head to the same old steady job
    that’s sapped 28 years of my energies
    to get me to here… kitchen table, 6:27 A.M.

  283. PAD #23 prompt:
    Place
    .
    insects astir –
    all the dark places
    I’ve been

  284. Michelle Hed says:

    The Chair

    Electrifying!
    or so I hope.
    As I sit here
    some spark
    will ignite
    my mind
    and run
    a live flame
    from my brain
    to my fingers
    as the muse
    spills her secrets
    one
    word
    at
    a
    time.

  285. break_of_day says:

    “in the Tatras”

    this is a thing that God made:
    mountains carved out of rock
    like sculpture from a slab of marble,
    only vast
    and larger than words,
    surrounded by thin, cold air,
    crisper than a new sheet of paper,
    filling the blue sky while the white sun
    gives light to the day
    from almost 93 million miles away
    though it seems close enough to hold
    in an outstretched hand
    that would scoop it up like an egg
    if it would not burn the flesh
    in its ineffable heat.
    it burns brilliantly while the snow
    crunches underfoot
    among the mountains
    and the crisp air fills the lungs
    like balm on a wound
    or a melody sung on a violin
    or a hand grasped in hand

  286. JanetRuth says:

    Location Makes All the Difference

    Ah, Great Lonesome, you would kill me
    Spread like cancer through my soul
    Not for lack of smiles and kisses
    But for That which makes me Whole
    Tell me, cold and nameless Hunger
    What is it you covet so?
    Tormenting both old and younger
    With a hollow, weeping throe

    Ah, Great Lonesome, fearless hunter
    Stalking wonder for its prize
    Taking prisoners without pity
    Lodging in Want’s thankless sighs
    Tell me, sad and homeless stranger
    What is it you strive to seek?
    Without pardon or permission
    You trace teardrops on my cheek

    Ah Great Lonesome, haunting fetter
    But for tender triumph where
    I can flee; a pining beggar
    At the mercy of a prayer
    Here, upon Love’s lavish promise
    Though you taunt and weep and wail
    I am safe within the comfort
    Of One Love that cannot fail

    © Janet Martin

  287. Blaise says:

    COLD DARK SHELL

    The most brutal term in real estate
    and the most honest,
    an office condo with no heat,
    no electricity, four walls and a roof.
    Location was good though,
    perfect for my specialty music store,
    close to home, findable but
    no need for downtown foot traffic.
    Easy for UPS to whisk away
    our well cushioned boxes
    to every state and far overseas.
    It took months to transform
    the cold, dark shell into
    a destination location, and years
    into a space where music rang out,
    problems were solved
    and gear was sold.
    Behind the colorful displays
    and stacks of instruments
    lurk metal studs and empty conduit.
    How long will it be
    before another realtor
    speaks those three words
    to another budding businessman?

  288. Jaywig says:

    Locatability

    Google Maps pretends
    I exist where that pink bubble is
    when in fact I am here at my desk
    writing a poem. Location: in
    a real house, not a photo of one.

    Google Maps tells people
    to go along unsealed tracks
    and get bogged down (and dirty,
    waiting for Roadside Assistance).
    The real road is asphalted.

    Don’t get me wrong: I love maps.
    Each town is a dot, is a story.
    Every road and street and court
    is a conversation, a community
    where I can discover poetry.

    My brother who makes maps
    for a living began to notice
    location as a postman. Now
    he creates it, in fold-up sheets.
    Monochrome, useful to tourists.

    We map my poetic journeys
    together, and give them voices.
    The tracks are often uncharted
    but navigation is easy. We look
    for real people in real country.

  289. JanetRuth says:

    Most Important Location Ever…

    Here.
    Now.

    Not
    When or
    If

    But
    Here.
    Now.
    Is all
    There is…

    © Janet Martin

  290. Linda Goin says:

    Marking My Bed, Resisting Wallace

    encore, encore, encore, les dieux” — Wallace Stevens

    My bed is fifteen feet from the weather
    where Wallace Stevens grew gods and people.
    I’m very glad the only thing growing
    beyond is weeds and maybe more weather.
    Oh yes, and still, the gods.

    The miles between nineteen fifty-four
    and the steel mills in a crippled town
    is shorter than June in Jersey City,
    a lonely moonlit summer.

    The length of this bed is longer than me,
    and my window is nothing like Stevens’
    dream, filled with empty steeples and people.
    Plenty of goods for me to see here, here
    are more fears than I can dream in my sleep.
    Bring on the adagios, the chants,
    the weeds, the gods, crowd my bed from my head
    to my toes so no room is right or left
    for words that can change this climate.